Bell Restoration Officer’s Report 2011

It is very pleasing to report that 2011–2012 was a year of continued progress, perhaps more so at the planning and discussion stage than implementation. We continue to provide support and guidance to church authorities throughout the Diocese with the maintenance and restoration of their bells and fittings both practically and financially. The Committee met twice during the year and discussed five grant applications (St Dunstan-in-the-West, St Vedast, Christ the Saviour Ealing, Harmondsworth, and St Mary Kilburn).

The AGM accepted the Committee’s recommendations that St Dunstan-in-the-West be awarded £14,000 towards the project to install a new light ring of ten, tenor 11cwt, and that St Vedast be awarded a 50% grant up to a maximum of £2,500. The AGM voted £20,000 towards the augmentation of the existing three bells at St Mary, Kilburn to form a new ring of six hung in a new frame with new fittings. The Association is particularly keen to support this project which includes recruiting and training a new band from the nearby school.

The AuGM accepted the Committee’s recommendations that Harmondsworth be given £8,000 towards the replacement of three cracked headstocks and other general improvement work, and that Christ the Saviour Ealing be awarded £15,000 towards the project to rehang the front six on metal headstocks and carry out other general improvement work.

Subsequently we were advised that the grant awarded to St-Dunstan-in-the-West would not be taken up due to the success of their fund-raising but that acknowledgement of the Association & Guild’s support would be recorded through the inscription on the 9th bell.

Progress on projects supported by grants from the BRF is as follows:

St Vedast – work to improve the general “go”, including an additional rope guide, has been completed.

Edgware – the crucial missing finance has now been achieved through a Heritage Lottery Grant but work will not commence until early 2013 due to White’s full order book.

Other activities carried out by Committee Members and friends include:

Bethnal Green, St John – contact has been renewed by the BRO with the parish, who have agreed to proposals to restore the ring of three to a ringable condition on a minimal budget. Ealing, Christ the Saviour – the contract to carry out work already described has been awarded to Nicholsons and phase 1 commences in April 2012, with phase 2 planned for

July 2012.
Ealing, St Mary – no progress has been made to repair the damaged frame.
Fulham – the project to re-hang this historic ring of ten is shortly to move from the planning

phase to the fund raising stage.
Holloway – assistance was provided to resolve a problem with the four clappers of the second

phase of the restoration project.
Islington, St Mary – assistance was provided with an ongoing problem with the clappers.

Ian Callander leads the 200 club and has continued to increase membership through aggressive promotion. We have seen the first £1,000 prize draw and he has arranged further “200 Club” outings to Bethnal Green and Bishopsgate for members to see the results of their support. Our thanks go to him for this hard work.

We note that the project to install a new lighter ring of 12 for Cornhill has been successfully completed. The bells were cast at Taylor’s and have tenor of 32 cwt.

I take this opportunity to once again thank members and friends of the Committee for their time so freely given. Without this valued support very little of the above good works would have been possible.

Stephen Jakeman