1991 - 1993
Summary of Refurbishment
Work on the bells

The ten bells were installed in 1934 and have swung full circle (360) about 7,000,000 times since then. So by 1991, although the bells were hardly worn, and will be good for another 100-200 years, the fittings - bearings and pulleys and clappers - needed to visit Taylor's bellfoundry in Loughborough for renovation.

The work was carried out in three phases:-

Spring 1992    8th, 9th, 10th bells
Autumn 1992 5th, 6th, 7th bells
Spring 1993   1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th bells

The bells were out of action for 3-6 weeks each time. We avoided festivals (Christmas, Easter, Remembrance Day)

Each phase involved
  • Removing wheel, rope and fittings
  • Supporting the bell
  • Removing headstock from bell and frame
  • Hoisting headstock to ringing chamber, then to porch
  • Transporting to Loughborough
  • Every thing above in reverse

And additionally
  • Opening the floor of the ringing chamber (roof of porch) to allow headstocks to be lowered. Lots of carpets and floor coverings to be moved.
  • Opening floor of belfry (ceiling of ringing chamber) to allow headstocks through. 75 sacks of tinder-dry straw had to be removed. Probably put there in 1880 as sound insulation.

Photo: Headstock leaving the porch

Leaving the porch

Photo: Headstock Going up

Going up

Photo: Headstock Through the ringing chamber

Through the ringing chamber

Photo: Headstock On top of the frame

On top of the frame

Photo: Headstock Back on the bell, ready for the bolts

Back on the bell, ready for the bolts

Photo: Some of the happy band of workers

Some of the happy band of workers

The bellfounders' work cost about 600 per bell. We were assisted with a donation from the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers Bell Restoration Fund, with the remaining funds coming from St. John's. By doing the removal transportation to and from Loughborough and reinstallation ourselves we avoided labour costs of about the same amount.


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