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Churchdown Bells Restoration Project

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12 March 2014

August 22, 2014

A small group of Churchdown ringers visited the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London to see the casting of two of our new bells, the 3rd and the Tenor.

September 18, 2014

The remaining 3 new bells for Churchdown were cast.

September 24, 2014

A small group of volunteers consisting of Chris Wakeman, Gordon Goodman, John Gilden, Derrick Newman and Ron Harpham carried out work to open up the ceiling in the deadening chamber and removal of the screen in the church in preparation of the removal of the existing bells planned for October.  This has saved £500 which was the estimate provided by external contractors.

October 4th & 6th

Preparation started on Saturday morning when the ropes, wheels and stays were removed and the bell fittings oiled in preparation for the removal of the bells.  On Monday the bells lowered to the ground and taken to the car park by Graham from Whites ably assisted by a group of volunteers who had all had their morning Weetabix

January 2015

Whites came to St Barts in early January to fit the new bearing plates to the bell frame.  These are thick steel plates that will form the foundation for the bells bearings.  Whites also took the remaining two bells back to their works for storage.  These are listed bells and will be returned to the church in due course.  Once again the Pullen family provided welcome assistance with loading the bells onto Whites vehicle.

February 2015

A small group of Churchdown ringers and volunteers visited White’s of Appleton to see the new bells and make final arrangements for delivery and installation of the bells.  We were lucky enough to see all six of the bells fitted with their headstocks. The tenor bell was hung in a frame and was tested whilst we were there.  You can see and hear the new tenor bell being tested by clicking here. We also had an opportunity to ring on a very small set of bells which are installed at White’s workshop and on bells at the nearby All Saints church at Marcham where the bells had been hung in an anti-clockwise circle which is very unusual.  Both rings were challenging but fun. The bells will be arriving back at St Bartholomews on the morning of Monday 9th March.  They will be hoisted up the tower and made ready for ringing during the following days.  It is expected that they should be ready for service ringing on Sunday 22nd March.

March 2015

On 9th March the bells arrived at St Bartholomews and were one by one pushed up the steep path to the church and hoisted into place.  All six bells are now sitting comfortably in the bell frame. The test ring on Friday 13th March was a great success and I am now pleased to announce that the bells at St Bartholomews are ringing out over Churchdown once more. 

3 May 2015

Dedication Service

The Bishop of Tewkesbury, Martyn Snow, has agreed to attend a special service on Sunday 3rd May, during which the new ring of bells will be dedicated.  We hope that as many people as possible will come to this service.
Graham at work Work in progress Ready to load the bells onto the lorry Churchdown bells 1 to 5 The bell wheels and fittings Churchdown tenor bell Churchdown's bells have arrived. Pushing the bells up the path to the church Hoisting a bell up the tower
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