Buckland Dinham

David & Mary Kelly keltek at 1hCPsj9VINYaYoGBZMTuouYJ2h7-zRHMWvI8BhEQM7iqX4V2sCrBZzxQA1Dj_9R1Jic0KErrE4Vqy_bkpJM.yahoo.invalid
Fri May 11 12:30:01 BST 2007

David Cawley is correct about the "early Keltek" transfer as it was bell number 3. Numbers 1 and 2 were from Larkhall, St Saviour (Bath) which went to Bicknoller (treble) and Griffith Cathedral, NSW (tenor). David asked if I could find homes for for the two trebles from St Paul's, Bristol.

A year or so earlier I had visited Buckland Dinham on hearing that their small bell-restoration fund was at risk at being used for other purposes. BD were one of the many parishes hit by rampant inflation; as fast as they could raise money to restore the bells, the cost of the scheme rose by an almost equal amount. The lack of progress resulted in stagnation and there was little prospect of the bells being restored. BD had applied to English Heritage for a grant and they had noticed there was a sum of money in the church accounts. There seemed a very real prospect that the PCC might use the money for other purposes. In January 1992 I visited and met the late John Phippen, one of the bell-ringers. I suggested a scheme to him whereby they spend all the money raised on installing a new bell-frame (as I reckoned that was all they could afford) as this would clear the bell-fund without it having to be used for other purposes. I added that as more funds were raised they could hang the bells one at a time in the new frame. I received a letter from John in July saying that they were actively pursuing the suggestion. To cut a long story short the parish found that by actually starting to do something the money started to come in again; so much so they instructed Bob Parker to install a frame for eight bells and hang the six.

Mary and I purchased the two ex-St Paul's bells (removed by Andrew Mills during October 1993) and they were delivered to Whitechapel. Alan Hughes advised that one would be suitable for BD and Mary and I donated it to the parish. Although the Keltek Trust wasn't registered as a charity until a few years later it was one of the events that led to its registration as a charity.

BD bells went in as an eight and were rung from the ground floor; completion I believe was December 1994. A while later I organised an open-day to raise funds for the St Michael with St Paul, Bath bell-restoration and rare towers like Farleigh Hungerford, Berkley and BD were included. The queues at BD were enormous. We made so much money on the day that we donated approximately half to BD towards their ringing platform from which they are now rung.

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