The Bells 1978-1998

In late 1970's and early 1980's a few parish members and members of the North American Guild of Change Ringers revived an interest in the bells.  Some work was undertaken to make the bells more ringable, though change ringing still was not possible.  In the late 1980's members of the parish interested in preserving the bells and in change ringing had several consultants evaluate the bells.  Their findings showed: 

  1. The old cast iron fittings were in danger of cracking the bells. 
  2. Many of the wooden wheels of the bells were warped, rotten and badly worn. 
  3. The current wooden bell frame  was not consistent with any known manner of bell ringing. 

The recommendations stated that:

  1. The cast iron fittings be removed and replaced with modern ones.
  2. The wheels and ringing hardware be replaced.
  3. The bells be lowered to their original location in the original oak bell frame or in a new steel frame. 

    broken wheel from #2

    In the winter of 1996 one of the bell wheels shattered while the bell was being rung.  The bell  was not damaged nor was the ringer, but, it could no longer sound without major repairs.  For approximately one year,   there were only four bells ringing.  The maintenance approach was patch and re-patch.  In January 1998, through the help of Saint Martin-in-the-Field's steeple keeper, we were able to get seven of the bells ringing again for a very short period. 

    During March and April 1998, two more bells became un-ringable. The vestry decided to act in order to preserve the bells and to prevent the occurrence of a serious accident.