CURRENT RESTORATION WORK

All Saints, East Meon

Local ringers provided the manpower to remove the eight bells and their fittings for transportation to Taylors foundry at Loughborough. Tuning has resulted in the removal of so much metal that the bells have changed from the key of F to E. The generosity of Mr W F J Cope and Commander W A Harris has enabled the octave to be augmented to the first ring of ten in the Alton and Petersfield District. Cdr Harris has also provided inspiration for novel forms of fundraising, culminating in a "Hells Bells Ball". The Bishop of Portsmouth dedicated the new ring on Sunday 27th January 1991 (see The Ringing World 4166).

All Saints, Barton Stacey

The servicing of the ring of six bells has been postponed due to the illness of Mr Arthur Fidler. The very active band here have organised fundraising and are hoping that the essential work will be commenced early in 1991.

All Saints, Compton

The three bells at Compton, near Winchester, were rehung early in 1991.

St John, Farley Chamberlayne

This church is listed in our report for 1989 with a ring of three, lacking stays and sliders. It no longer lacks these items, and many groups have tried out our latest ringable three-bell tower.

St Andrew, Mottisfont

Many Guild members have struggled to ring this difficult set of five bells from amongst the pews, and have been surprised by the unusual note (or lack of it) from the cracked fourth. We were pleased to hear that the PCC had instructed Whitechapel Foundry to remove bells and fittings, to repair number four and to restore the complete ring once a structural engineering firm had completed extensive repairs to roof and tower. The local newspapers have featured pictures of Mr Waldron lowering the bells, under the heading of "£100,000 restoration scheme". We learn recently that number three bell is also cracked. It is hoped that work will be complete by April 1991.

All Saints, Newchurch

In April 1990 the recast number three and the other five bells were rehung by Whitechapel in a new metal frame. The funds for this were raised by the local parishioners and the restored ring has been much admired by the local ringers since restoration of Sunday service ringing.

St John the Baptist, New Alresford

Vital repairs to tower and roof were so urgent that lack of funds to complete this work might have resulted in cessation of ringing on this octave. This work is now complete but, during weekly ringing, the clapper came out of the number six, breaking the frame of number four. Taylors cast a new frame side, straightened the clapper (and rebushed it), then refitted both. The other seven clappers were removed by local ringers, together with the pulley boxes. Taylors rebushed and built up the balls of the clappers, refurbished the pulley boxes and supplied new pulleys. Clappers and pulley boxes were replaced by the local ringers. The bells were out of action from 17th August but should be ringing again by Easter 1991.

St Michael, Southampton

Essential work to clappers and fittings is now complete, with the majority of the heavy work undertaken by the local ringers of Southampton City Centre. Many hours have been spent in both belfries, the work being planned and co-ordinated by Mr G Evenden.

St Andrew, Tichborne

The ring of six has become increasingly difficult to ring. Mr Waldron is currently adding extra pulleys between bell and ringing chambers, and also rebushing the clappers.

Winchester Cathedral

The bells at Winchester Cathedral became silent at Easter 1991 owing to major renovation work to the tower. This will extend to the bells and frame. The thirteen bells will be lowered to the ringing chamber and the 1734 wooden frame for the back eight raised and inspected. Depending on the findings, this may be strengthened, replaced and reused, with a new frame constructed for the lighter bells. The great silence is expected to last for a year.

Due to regular maintenance by the local bands of ringers, essential repairs to the following rings of bells were identified before they could provide a source of major, and expensive, problems. Luckily, all these items are being remedied at St John the Baptist, Shedfield, St Mary the Virgin, Twyford and St Nicholas, Wickham

D C JACKSON