First of all, apologies for the lack of news on the website over the last couple of months.* The augmentation is progressing, but progress has been frustratingly slow.
September seems such a long time ago when we excitedly received the bells at the church – at the time, it felt like real progress and it wouldn’t be many more weeks before we could be ringing.
The frame repairs were completed and all bells located in the correct place in the tower by the end of October. A couple of weeks later and the easy part of getting the existing three to a ringable state was completed. The ringers elected to return to the three bells at Ab Kettleby on practice nights, as the extended displacement was beginning to take its toll! So Wednesday night practices resumed in St James’ on 18th November 2015.
Because of the frame issues, the augmentation process has been ongoing much longer than anyone had anticipated. Which in turn means that various long-standing personal commitments from the volunteers have also prevented much progress in recent weeks.
That said, we are tantalisingly close to ringing all six bells. Some hard work today has seen two of the remaining three bells be fitted out and ready to ring! The second was up and running by about 17:00, and the tenor was completed at about 19:30.
So we had a bit of a delayed start to our Wednesday practice night while the tenor’s rope was adjusted to the correct length. (Not a problem – we had planned a more social night tonight, with tea/coffee and cakes galore to fill the void!!) We finally got going with some simple rounds on 5 bells – such a different sound and feel to the with the new tenor taking the peal to a major key!
The treble bell still needs a bit of adjustment to its frame position; then the pulley box, slider and stay need fitting, before the rope can be put in place and we can have our full peal of six. It doesn’t feel like there is much left to do. It was planned and hoped that we would be ringing them by Christmas this year, but disappointingly, some last minute hitches look likely to prevent the final few tasks from being carried out.
Good things come to those who wait..!
(* for more details, see BellBoard)