DrLove at s...
Fri Feb 20 10:02:37 GMT 2004
The publicity surrounding Edvin Loach highlights an issue that has crossed
my path several times, and that is security for bells. The theft of bells
from a belfry is, according to my experience, pretty rare. But the theft of
bells that were otherwise on display or in storage is a bit more common. How
many times have I heard an incumbant say "oh, nobody can steal that bell, it
is far too heavy". It seems none of them realise the ease with which a bell
on the ground can be easily smashed with a hammer and then the pieces carted
off and sold for scrap.
There is a prereformation bell on display in Kent that I am trying to
persuade the authorities to 'make safe'. A list of instances where bells
have been stolen would be quite useful, together with a list of instances
where specific measures have been taken to safeguard bells.
To kick off:
** a couple of years after we left Scotter, Lincs (my Dad was Rector), the 4
prereformation bells were removed from the tower and stored in the Rectory
garage pending restoration. The church was astonished when the discovered
they were stolen a short while later.
** I believe when the complete 5 Hodson bells were returned to Godmersham
pending hanging, parishioners took shifts guarding them in the church over
24 or 48 hours.
** Thieves were disturbed trying to steal the 3 bells from Milstead, Kent
about 10 years ago.
** Likewise, thieves were disturbed trying to steal the 4 bells from
Bicknor, Kent in c.1990 (part of the same benefice as Milstead). Amusingly
they picked the wrong target as these are steel bells and therefore of
minimal scrap value!!
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