The project to restore the bells at St Mary’s Church is well underway, reports Julia Sargent, the head of the project.
The six bells have been lowered from the tower and are now at Whites Bell Hangers in Appleton where work has started to repair and retune them. The new bell wheels have been made and the huge metal headstocks, which attach the bells to the frame have been placed in position on the bells ready to bolt on.
Work to retune the bells begins next week. Tuning is all computerised these days, but still requires a huge amount of skill to achieve the correct note.
The iron frame in the tower which carries the bells replaced a wooden one prior to the First World War. The frame has been thoroughly cleaned and is in the process of being painted.
The tenor bell, the largest bell, weighing 9cwt and cast in 1765, has the inscription:
Our voices shall with joyful sound
Make hills and valleys echo round.
Lester and Pack 1765
Lots of photographs of the work have been taken which will be shared with the village, and it is hoped that when the bells are returned it will be possible to have them on show without restrictions.