Wellington (NZ) St Peter

davidhird_uk davidhird_uk at ...
Wed Aug 24 22:45:03 BST 2005

I had a look at them in the 1990s and concurr with all of this. They 
do encourage visiting ringers to look at them.


--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "Michael Wilby" 
<michael at i...> wrote:
> On my recent tour "down under" Tony Daw, Mark Esbester, Roy 
> LeMarechal and I gained access to the tower containing an 
> 16cwt Warner 8 of 1879. Our visit was quite short – about 15 
> minutes, as the vicar had to fly off to Auckland, however any 
> visitors are encouraged to make contact: he was only too happy to 
> us up the tower.
> The church and tower are wooden – apparently quite a common thing 
> NZ – but not ideal for ringing bells of any weight. Seems to be 
> problem here: the tower is quite tall, comprises four upright 
> posts, not particularly well braced until the belfry stage, clad 
> clapper boarding, and crowned with a spire.
> The ringing chamber is at second floor level – about 50% of the 
> up the tower (at the top of the arched windows), reached by two 
> flights of stairs, and is about 10' high. A near-vertical ladder 
> gives access to a 4' intermediate chamber (no windows) and another 
> ladder brings one through a trap door beneath the tenor into the 
> chamber.
> The bells are hung in a two tier wooden frame; 3 and 7 above 
> (swinging liturgical E-W – I think), the rest below, all swinging 
> other direction: 8,1,2 in one half of the tower, 6,5,4 in the 
> (upper tier above these bells).
> Almost all fittings remain intact, except for the odd bit of 
> shrouding and perhaps a slider or two. There are the remains of 
> ropes still on a few of the wheels. All appears to be in 
> good condition – certainly it doesn't look as if the place has 
> deserted for 125 years; the rope remnants appear to be younger 
> this. Perhaps the clean atmosphere is the answer – there is not 
> rust and some of the bells swing fairly freely in their plain 
> bearings.
> From the church history it appears that the bells were rung at the 
> try-out c1879, when the tower was found to move so much that all 
> ringing was abandoned there and then. However I did find an odd 
> reference in Elizabeth Bleby's "Their sound has gone forth" 
> suggesting the when the Great Adventure party visited the tower in 
> 1934 (and didn't ring) they found that the bells had been rung a 
> years earlier. Looking at the tower I find this surprising, but 
> maybe this could account for the remains of the ropes?
> In the 60s and 70s there seems to have been some changes chimed on 
> the bells: eight ropes hang in the ringing room, connected to the 
> ellacombe hammers, and there's a blackboard with a line of 
> Doubles. We managed to double-hand some rounds on the bells – the 
> sound isn't anything special, but not too bad either.
> More recently Peter Whitehead has visited the tower and reported 
> the church on the state of the bells – apparently they have (or 
> some money and a desire to do something about the installation.  
> view is that the bells should hang in an internal free-standing 
> tower within the current structure. Having rung on the little 5 
> Old St Paul's I wonder if the tower would withstand a similar 
sized 8 
> hung in the lower tier of the existing frame.
> I have some photos of the installation, though not too good due to 
> lack of wide-angle lens and cramped conditions. Mark Esbester has 
> some better ones that I will try to get hold of and forward to the 
> list.
> I have very little in the way of historical information on these 
> bells - can anyone shed any more light on these bells, and any 
> ringing on them?
> M.


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