Surlingham Norfolk

John Ketteringham john.ketteringham27 at n...
Wed May 19 19:24:25 BST 2004

I contacted Paul Cattermole and hope the following message from him is of
interest :

Eayre and Smith faithfully restored the MHM fittings at Surlingham,
including the “redenhall” oatern clappers, the rotating eyes in the
garter-holes and the centrally placed stays. The sliders (horizontal
rolling-pin variety) presented problems initially, but I am told they now
work well. In fact they didn’t do much to alter the appearance and
functioning of the old bells. The bells had got into a bad state by the
1970s, when a group of Duke of Edinburgh Award boys took the wheels off two
bells and did conservative repairs, and generally refurbished the fittings:
I remember we used sections of broken oars (handle end – not the blades) for
the stays. The bells worked quite well for the next several years. The
most recent work included the addition of two Whitechapel bells, treble and
tenor, to make six. MH&M had left a pit for a fith bell in 188?, and when a
new concrete floor was placed in the tower by J E Burton (architect and
ringer) in the 1920s he left a hole for a fifth rope. The problem with
augmentation was that the four bells were out of tune, and any scheme for
tuning (even one which involved minimal interference with the two pre-Ref
bells) was vetoed. However, the parish were persuaded that by adding two
more bells the ring would be harmonised, and would miraculously fall into
tune. Having heard the bells after augmentation I am not sure that the
miracle has happened.

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