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Thursday 21st March 2019

Yesterday evening we welcomed our vice tower captain back. Not that she’s been away anywhere but she has had an enforced twelve month break from ringing due to ill health. So at the practice she had a short and tentative go and all seemed well. She hopes in future weeks to build up to full strength and get back to where she was a year ago.

This rest of this week’s news is partly a continuation of last week’s. Steeple keeper and TC have finally completed the work cleaning and re-greasing the bell bearings, and there was enough time on Tuesday afternoon for a thorough check of everything else at the same time. At the ringing on Sunday and again at practice yesterday evening it was clear that the bells do go better as a result. The difference is subtle but it’s there. In particular I thought that the 5th went like a top last night. Rachel, who is in the early stages of learning to follow another bell, seemed to find the 3rd easier to keep going, which she has struggled with, and young Owen made a decent job of ringing the 4th in rounds for the first time. So the evidence seems to be there and it was worth the effort. I think the steeple keeper will want to check the bearings again in six months and then monitor the situation on a yearly basis. The very experienced person who advised us initially says he cleans and re-greases the bell bearings at the towers he looks after every couple of years.

So what next for maintenance? One thing is an overhead light in the belfry. This will be something we can hang from a handy beam and plug in as required, so we don’t need an electrician. The other thing that really does need doing is to fit rope chutes/slap boards, call them what you will, to the front bells, particularly the 2nd and 3rd. The ropes for these two bells run very close to the flint wall in the clock room and are gradually being shredded where they catch the wall. This has clearly been the situation for decades and it’s surprising that nothing has been done before now. In addition the 2nd in particular can be a handful for an inexperienced ringer as the rope tends to flap. It’s less pronounced on the treble and 3rd but still there. So we are looking at our options. More later.

Also yesterday evening we celebrated the 50th birthday of one of the band with cake, savoury items and Prosecco, and had a jolly little soiree. The ringing was curtailed a bit, but what there was, was fun and we started off with our now regular short simulator session.


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