Number two’s wheel has been refurbished and replaced. Took a bit longer than anticipated, but we’re all set for practice night, tonight!
However, we had to finish practice night a bit earlier than normal, as work is required on our number 2 bell’s wheel. Some of the shrouding was already missing when we started to ring back in June, but the ‘broken stay’ incident caused it to shed a bit more. Advice was given that the wheel ought to be looked at sooner, rather than later.
After practice tonight, we managed to remove the wheel and lower it out of the tower. Removing nuts and bolts that haven’t been touched for 64 years is not the easiest thing to do!
It is a great thing that we are so close to a bell foundry – the wheel should be back by next week!
The replacement stay was installed on Sunday afternoon, in plenty of time for our Wednesday night practice. It’s been fitted with a new bolt, along with the old bolt, and a lick of paint applied to Hastings toggle too.
During the installation of the new stay, we noticed that some more of the shrouding (rope guides) of the bell wheel has become detached. It was already missing a small section, but it’s going to need some attention before too long.
Its failure was a bit strange – but was explained when realised that the stay hasn’t completely sheared off. We heard a bit of a thud, which was put down to just a heavy bash on the stay/slider/toggle (we have Hastings stays) and the bell seemed to set without issue. It was rung again, and once again, set – but something did look a little amiss when the bell stopped – but the rope was tied up as normal. About 30 seconds later, while we were just discussing the ringing, the stay finally succumbed and the rope disappeared.
We’ve all learnt a thing or two. Although there’s some work to be done over the next few days!
On Wednesday 4th June, we started regular bell-ringing practice nights for the first time since the restoration of the church. Six new recruits came along, all eager to learn to ring.
In the four weeks since then, three of the original six are now able ring a bell pretty much unaided. Since we began, two of our three bells have been tied to muffle the sound from our neighbours. But last night, we we took the opportunity to take the ties and muffles off and attempt to ring some rounds!
Each learner took it in turns on their chosen bell, with two other ringers taking the other two ropes, and off we went! A significant milestone in the progress of the three ringers was achieved, and we’re all very proud of them!
It’s still going to need a bit more practice, but hopefully we will be able to ring for Sunday services in the very near future.