[Bell Historians] 3 bell restorations

David Bryant davidbryant at GF2Xb-4fR-cR0hb3ATHx9noszkka_IhPKCFYRlBpNGfw50PLhJJ6d2fAxG8EI2WvVG5imdHib4629F-fgFKl.yahoo.invalid
Sun Jan 20 14:00:39 GMT 2008

“A lot depends on what sort of adviser is involved and which firm quotes for


Yes, it does. Other important factors are 

a) whether there are any individuals or groups in the area which carry out
voluntary restoration work and 

b) what the diocese’s attitude is towards such people.


In many cases, threes have become unringable simply because they aren’t
rung, and it is often the case that they can be patched up to a state where
they can be rung occasionally with relatively little work. Often, it is
simply a case of re-attaching shrouding which is loose or has come off (if
any is missing, replacement sections can easily be made with marine ply and
a jigsaw), cleaning out and oiling the bearings and pulleys, tightening
everything up and fitting ropes. Most people who are interested in doing
this sort of thing collect cast-off ropes from anywhere they can be
obtained, and can consequently often donate serviceable second-hand ropes at
no cost.


I used to do some of this sort of work in the York Diocese, mostly in
conjunction with Alan Birney, but regrettably the diocese doesn’t like
people doing this (and doesn’t like me in general), and the result has been
that there have been attempts to make things difficult by writing to all
parishes effectively warning them off, and advising them that even if the
work isn’t strictly speaking something which would require a faculty (which
the above isn’t) they should get one anyway if the bells haven’t been rung
for a long time. I asked the Archdeacon to explain why, and he told me that
it was because there might be complaints from people living nearby. Well, I
don’t know about others of you on this list who do this sort of work, but
personally I’ve NEVER heard any complaints about ringing long-unrung bells,
which are mostly in rural areas. Indeed, the local response is generally
precisely the opposite and they are delighted to have their bells rung. I’ve
even had people living nearby come up the tower because they’d heard the
bells for the first time and were pleased to hear them.


Despite the diocesan attitude on this, it seems that it is perfectly
acceptable for a certain church in York, which is surrounded by houses, to
have excessive amounts of ringing including, not infrequently, several peals
in a week plus extra practices and quarters.


As a result of the diocesan attitude, I now no longer do any voluntary bell
work. I look after one ring of six in York and one ring of three nearby, and
that is it. This is a pity, as the sort of churches with threes often tend
to be small and not well off – East Yorkshire, in particular, is not a
wealthy area – and consequently the bells are likely to continue to languish
in silence unless someone with an interest in bells does things at no cost
to the church. Given the way approaches are generally warmly received by
locals, it is a pity that the diocese sees the need to stamp out people
doing things free of charge and in their own time. It is fortunate that this
attitude doesn’t appear to be the norm elsewhere in the country.




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