Report from the Diocesan Bell Adviser, Ron East:
At St Michael’s Church, Brough the steelwork is now in place for the return and the rehanging of the bells. The work begins on Monday, 19 June for two weeks and on the weekend in between (Saturday and Sunday, 24 and 25 June) the bells will be on display in the church. Please come along to see the bells and make it a day out by visiting the castle and enjoying homemade ice cream at the Manor Farm close by.
The clappers at St Andrew’s Church, Thursby have been removed for re-bushing at the John Taylor & Co works in Loughborough. The bells were last renovated by Taylors in the 1960s when this B&W photograph was taken of a bell outside the church door. Sixty years’ later the clappers are photographed outside the same door and about to go back to the same works.
Much of the work of bell restoration is with service bells hung for chiming in parish churches. St Mary’s Church in Gosforth has three bells in an external bell cote, two of which were restored for ringing recently (the third bell is the hour bell). At the end of the striking competition at Crosthwaite in May, Nick Newby kindly donated a collection of old ropes to the rope bank. Three of the sallies were cleaned and an eye spliced in to each sally. They now hang in the church for chiming but note that the sally on the left of the photograph is a dummy and occupies a space where the rope for clock bell once hung when it was chimed.
This Chinese bell at Gosforth was taken from Annunghoy in China in 1841 by Sir Humphrey Senhouse. Chinese bells are not rung with clappers. When a clapper was fitted to this bell to ring it, the bell cracked. The inscription means ‘This bell was made by Wan-Wen and was installed in the good day of midautumn in 1839’. It is 26” high, has a diameter of 21” (approx.) and is now on display in the north aisle.