[Bell Historians] st johns Blackpool and sacred heart

peter at plrivet.plus.com peter at plrivet.plus.com
Thu Aug 11 14:35:53 BST 2022

I don't know about Sacred Heart, but the position in Blackpool St John is as
follows:  By the early 2000s the church had a dwindling congregation and its
future was in doubt.  To save it as a town centre landmark and community
facility it was reconstructed internally to provide a much smaller worship
space plus a range of rooms suitable for group activities.  To facilitate
this (primarily in order to access various grants) the building was
temporarily deconsecrated, so the work didn't come under the auspices of the
Blackburn DAC.  


There was by this time no active band of ringers and the architect and
contractor responsible for the restoration of the building had no knowledge
of bells or ringing.  To facilitate access to the inside of the tower they
constructed an access platform immediately on top of the bell frame.  This
involved removing two of the bells from the frame and sawing off part of the
wheels of several others.  The end result was a building that was
structurally sound, but a ring of bells which was effectively useless.


In response to a request, in my capacity as Blackburn DAC Bells adviser I
had a look inside the tower (along with Ray Clayton, who advises on clocks)
in June 2015.  It was evident that the bells had been out of use for some
time as a loudspeaker system for recordings of bells had been installed
above the bells, though it appeared to be no longer in operation.  Following
our visit I wrote a report saying, among other things, that it was a great
pity that the platform hadn't been positioned higher up in the tower as that
would have avoided any damage to the bells and their fittings.  I sent a
copy to the PCC - who replied saying that it was none of my business or the
DAC's, and that they had no intention of putting the bells back into working

At that stage the RC Church of the Sacred Heart was undergoing major
renovation.  I just hope that they weren't using the same contractor.


The third church in the centre of Blackpool with bells, Holy Trinity South
Shore, has a ring of six.  These are also at present unringable.  They could
be put back into working area fairly easily but the parish serves one of the
poorest parts of the town and has no money to spend on this kind of work.
The Lancashire Association of Change Ringers has been investigating the
possibility of a restoration project but they will have to raise all the
funding needed themselves.


So here we have a large town centre with three rings of bells, all of them
out of action.


Peter Rivet   




From: Bell-historians <bell-historians-bounces at lists.ringingworld.co.uk> On
Behalf Of oliver Lee
Sent: 11 August 2022 13:39
To: bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk
Subject: [Bell Historians] st johns Blackpool and sacred heart


I was wondering if anyone might be able to tell me exactly why these bells
are unringable?, judging by my own research there was almost certainly a
local band here in the 1930s but It would appear that the decline began to
set in around the 1970s or 80s. I have also heard a story of a clapper
falling out during ringing was this why they where condemned or was it
mainly due to tower defects. 

Many thanks 

Oliver lee 

p.s when where sacred heart last rung? They where almost certainly ringable
in 1988! (per doves)



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