The Leeds handbells - a suggestion

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford at t...
Fri May 30 10:00:39 BST 2003

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Whatever the issues of principle here - these bells were clearly misappropr=
iated if not stolen, as it seems unlikely that the church/ringers authorise=
d alienation from the church - there may be little option but to bite the b=
ullet and buy them back. To establish proof of ownership, to trace their w=
hereabouts over 60 years and offer certainty that they were never lawfully =
disposed of may be impossible.=20

As Anne Willis has already discovered, the dealer who has them now bought t=
hem from another dealer. At the Leeds end, the aged verger seems pretty su=
re about what happened to them though (to deal with Aidan's point) it's mor=
e likely that the parish quietly forgot about them rather than claim on the=
church insurance for the loss. Without Sid's long memory, all recollectio=
n of them would have been lost altogether.

I gather from David Brookes that they have come to the conclusion that they=
will need to establish a "buyback fund" to recover the bells and that he i=
ntends to raise this at the PCC meeting next week.

Doesn't this case offer an opportunity for this List to be of practical ass=
istance by securing funds to recover the bells? I have already offered Davi=
d a contribution if it be needed. Would other list members be willing to co=
ntribute too? It would be good to take positive action to match the strong=
sentiments on this issue that have been expressed already on Bellhistorian=

Offers of support can be sent direct to David at dcbrookes at b...

Chris Pickford
Tel: 01732-456147 or (mobile) 07811-453525
E-mail: c.j.pickford at t...
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