Bell Adviser’s Report 2016
Another reasonably busy year with visits to 20 towers for a variety of purposes. It has been good to see two major projects – Great Catworth and Denver – come to completion and, at the time of writing, a project to rehang Elm is well in progress. A number of projects have been carried out combining bell work with general re-ordering of the church. A very pleasing project is near completion at Burwell where there has been an opportunity to correct the two difficult handling trebles and improve the rope circle. The augmentation scheme at Great Paxton unfortunately didn’t get the grant funding it needed and alternative, cheaper, options are being explored. I’d like to pay tribute to the hours of work put in by ringers, churchwardens and other members of the PCC to bring these projects to a conclusion.
The change in the requirements for faculty position has caused some issues since it is now necessary to get an Archdeacon’s letter before lifting a bell out of its bearings, however a fast-track process has been agreed with the Ely DAC which has been trialled successfully for Huntingdon St Mary’s. There is still more to be done in training and generating more expertise in bell inspection and maintenance but the revised constitution should give a greater focus on these areas by setting up an addition bell maintenance sub-committee.
Bell Adviser’s Report 2015
Another reasonably busy year with visits to 20 towers for a variety of purposes. It has been good to see two major projects – Meldreth and Bottisham – come to completion and, at the time of writing, a project to rehang and augment Great Catworth to 6 is well in progress. New projects are in the pipeline at Denver, Elm, Great Paxton and Abbots Ripton.
There have been two areas of concern arising over the year: building works at Downham Market and Burwell have resulted in there being insufficient room for ringers between the ropes and the wall and this is being pursued by the DAC. Secondly, nationally there have been issues of residents trying to get bell ringing stopped because of noise nuisance. Locally, sound control has been introduced at Little Paxton which has met with the approval of local residents and a letter produced that can be sent to developers/estate agents building or selling near a church to ensure they inform purchasers that there is regular ringing.
Other activities included running a maintenance course at Watlington and various visits to inspect problems and advise on minor maintenance issues.
Bell Adviser’s Report 2014
This year I have visited 19 towers carrying out a range of activities from helping the PCC develop complete re-hang projects at Catworth, through to an inspection of a single bell at Croyden where the incumbent was worried by the quinquennial report.
The highlights have been seeing the projects at Meldreth, Bottisham and Burwell make good progress while a worrying glimpse of a possible future came from a visit to Horseheath where Whitechapel have hung 5 bells with electro-magnetic clappers that can be programmed for perfect Grandsire Doubles with no ringers in sight!
A recent development in faculty applications has been requirements for Statements of Significance and the recording of the installations before the work has started and I’ve have begun to up skill myself to help PCC’s in these areas as well as the usual inspections, striking measurement and light maintenance.
Bell Adviser’s Report 2013
This year I have visited fifteen towers wearing my EDA Bell Adviser’s hat. These visits include advising PCCs where there is one or more bells used for calling to worship, such as Arrington and Bartlow. I have visited towers where there are no regular ringers or a steeple keeper and there is a need for an inspection, and possibly light maintenance, to make sure that the bells can be rung by visiting ringers and on special occasions.
The striking meter has had four outings this year to Great Gransden, Swaffham Bulbeck, Great Wilbraham and Fordham, with variable success. The meter generally correlates well with the perceived odd-struckness of the bells and helps in understanding how the different bells in the ring fit together, however not all of the problems identified are simple to solve.
While there are no major projects in progress at the moment there are a number in preparation and I am always pleased to work wth the ringers, PCC, bell-hangers and DAC Bell Adviser to ensure as smooth a passage as possible through the faculty process.
Bell Adviser's Report 2012
There have been no major projects brought to completion this year although Ramsey have had a significant level of repair to their wooden frame. Bottisham and Sawston are looking for major funding for rehanging their bells. Burwell are investigating moving the clock case to allow the treble and second ropes to be moved and make them easier to ring.
Odd-struckness has been investigated at four towers; the first, Houghton, was done the old-fashioned way by trial and error but Barton, Brampton and Gamlingay have been adjusted with the help of the new odd- struckness meter. In addition visits have been made to 7 other towers for inspections and advice on a variety of issues.
Bell Adviser's Report 2011