January - March 2016

JT News

Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme amended to cover more bells work, professional fees and bellropes etcetera - click here

2016 Completed Projects

Work Completed January - March 2016

Whitbourne, Herefordshire, St. John the Baptist:-      This 11 cwt ring of six was last rehung by Greenleaf & Tristram of Hereford in 1908. Major maintenance work has now been completed and the bells are ringing once more. The wooden headstocks were removed and brought back to Loughborough where new plate gudgeons were manufactured and fitted. New bearings and specially cast bearing housings also needed to be manufactured to fit the bellframe bearing plates. The clappers and crown staples of all the bells were fully refurbished, and new rope roller boxes were provided, and the bells rehung.

Mirfield, West Yorkshire, St Mary's Parish Church:-     A major restoration and partial recasting of this 30 cwt ring of ten has now been completed. A Taylor ring dating from 1869, the bells have been in continuous use for 145 years. The bells and their fittings were brought back to Loughborough, and the front six bells were recast. The back four bells were cast with plenty of metal, and these have been cleaned by gentle sand blasting and have tuned up beautifully. All new bell fittings have been manufactured and the bells balanced on their headstocks. The Taylor oak bell frame of 1869 is substantial and after a little strengthening will serve well into the next century. The rehung bells are a joy to ring.

St Mary's, Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

One of the 1869 bells after cleaning on the tuning lathe.

Three of the recast bells await their final polish before being dispatched.

Malta, The National Maritime Museum:-     Malta's National Maritime Museum has now been sent a chime of eight bells, largest 7 cwts. These are to be a memorial to seafarers, be they Maltese, British etc., who through their ultimate sacrifice defended the island and thus shaped its history. The smallest four bells of th chime formerly hung at St Jude's Parish Church, Blackburn, England, and were cast in 1932 by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon. Bells 5 & 6 were also cast by the same foundry and were supplied by the Keltek Trust. Bells 7 & 8 were cast at Loughborough in 2015 to match the G & J profile. The bells will be hung to be chimed by internal electro-magnetic hammers from a pre-programmed Apollo Unit to allow clock chime, change ringing or tunes to be played as required. This order has now been increased and four extra treble bells will be cast and shipped to Malta asap to complete the scheme.

Malta's National Maritime Museum where the chime will hang.

The largest eight bells ready for their final polish before export.

Some of the older bells have been engraved at the Museum's request.

Lytham, Lancashire, St Peter's R.C. Church:-     Major maintenance work has been completed to improve this Victorian 10 cwt ring of six. Four of the bells have been lifted and rotated in their pits to create a better ringing circle. New rope roller boxes, sliders and runner boards have been manufactured and installed, together with a new rope guide. The ringing chamber has been relocated from the ground floor to first floor level.

Great Catworth, Cambridgeshire, St Leonard's Parish Church:-     New cast iron headstocks, together with gudgeons, bearings and bearing housing have been manufactured and supplied to Matthew Higby who is augmenting and rehanging this 15 cwt ring of six.

Fitting the gudgeon pins into one of the new cast iron canon retaining headstocks.

Barrowby, Lincolnshire, All Saints' Parish Church:-     A new galvanised steel understructure has been manufactured and installed to support and strengthen the 1809 wooden bellframe at this 10 cwt ring of six.

Glasgow, Scotland, The University Clock Tower:-     The University's Clock Tower houses three large Taylor bells, largest 58 cwts. These have been rehung on new galvanised steel deadstocks, and their bellframe has been repaired and rebuilt. New electro-magnetic hammers have been supplied and installed and a new Apollo Control Unit has been wired in to activate the clock chime.

Morpeth, Northumberland, The Clock Tower:-      A complete service has been carried out and the headstocks have been cleaned down and repainted.

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, St Andrew's Cathedral:-     This ring of eight was cast by John Briant of Hertford in 1812 and originally hung in St Alkmund's Parish Church in Shrewsbury. It was exported to Hawaii in 1991 and Eayre & Smith rehung the bells in a new steel bellframe with all new fittings. The 3rd headstock fractured into two pieces and this has now been replaced with a new headstock and bell wheel and been re-hung. Our bell hanger also supplied and fixed cross bracing to strengthen the bell frame, and carried out a complete service of the installation.

St Andrew's Cathedral, Honolulu.

Lichfield, Staffordshire, Cathedral of the BVM & St Chad:-     A new rope guide has been manufactured and fitted in the south-west tower where the greatly admired classic Taylor 1947 (Tenor 31 cwts) ring of ten hang.

Customer Testimonial:-     John Allen, recently retired Secretary of the Cathedral Ringers wrote to say, "Thank you for your initial design and thank you to those who installed them for the neat installation. I have to say they have exceeded mu expectations! I had thought that they would be obtrusive...... The design is compact and effective and they do not rattle, which is a fault of many rope guides. They do make a difference, perhaps not noticeable to the casual visitor, but certainly to those of us who have rung there for years."

London, Westminster, St Stephen's Rochester Row:-     Noted for the grandeur of their tone, this Charles & George Mears eight (tenor 24 cwts) has served the church well for the past 165 years. Cast in 1850 they were the gift of Baroness Angela Burdett Coutts, and are much loved and cherished by ringers.

A comprehensive restoration of the ring has now been completed. The bells, bell frame and fittings were removed from the tower and taken to Loughborough. There the bells wre cleaned by gentle sandblasting, their canons were removed, and their cast-in iron crown staples were removed. Dye penetration testing was undertaken to confirm that none of the bells was cracked in the crown. A massive new cast iron and galvanised steel bellframe was constructed using "H" castings to allow all the bells to be hung on a single tier frame, and although clearances between the bells was minute, this was successfully accomplished.

All new ringing fittings were manufactured and the bells were then rehung in the tower, and rung again for the first time on Sunday 28th February. The completion of a new sound control system and the hanging of a chiming service bell in the coming weeks will complete this project.

The massive lifting beams installed to remove the bells through the louvre openings.

Lowering the bells through the open louvres (Photos: Steve Atkinson)

The restored bells ready to be returned to Westminster.

Lifting the restored bells up the outside of the tower.#

Lifting the restored bells in through the louvres.

The first of the bells hanging in the new bell frame.

Plenty of local volunteers help Taylor's bellhanger Steve Westerman.

Urmston, Manchester, Parish Church:-     The Ellacombe Chiming Rack from this church was been restored and refixed, and the chime hammers correctly positioned and correctly tensioned.

Salisbury, Maryland, The University:-     The casting of the seven largest bells of the University's new carillon was sub contracted to Taylor's - the Bass Bell weighing over 2 tons. The bells are being shipped to the USA.

Anthony Stone prepares one of the large bell cases.

George Dawson with the 2 ton bass bell before shipping.

Girdar Vadukar with another of the big bells - he tuned them all.

Bond Street, London, Atkinson's Carillon:-     A complete service of this 23 bell Gillett & Johnston carillon has been completed, including the replacement of pedal springs etc.

The carillon is housed in the spire at the top of the Atkinson Building.

Malpas, Cheshire, St Oswald's Parish Church:-      The local ringers lowered the third and fourth bells into their respective pits and delivered their headstocks to Loughborough. New gudgeons and bearings were fitted, and the headstocks have now been returned to Malpas for rehanging by the volunteers.

Wortley, South Yorkshire, St Leonard's Parish Church:-     The ring of eight bells at this church, together with its bell frame and fittings, is the work of Warner's Bellfoundry in London, and dates from 1893. A major restoration has been undertaken, working with local ringers who removed the bells, transported them to Loughborough, and will rehang them in the restored bellframe. At the Foundry their canons and cast in iron crown staples were removed, and new bell pads were cast to provide a seating for the new headstocks. The bells were tuned and new cast iron headstocks, together with gudgeons and bearings were manufactured and fitted. The bell wheels were fully restored, with new soling and shrouding. New rope roller boxes, clappers, crown staples, stays and sliders were supplied, and the bells and their fittings were then collected by local ringers who completed the job by re-hanging the peal under the supervision of our bellhanger.

The bells with headstocks ready to be fitted.

Girdar completes the tuning of the peal.

Ready for dispatch.

Glapwell, Derbyshire, Pembleton's Bellhangers:-     To mark their 50th Wedding Anniversary Fred & Christine Pembleton are now the proud owners of a new ring of twelve (tenor 2.5 cwts), plus flat sixth. The bells have been cast and tuned at Loughborough and have now been collected. Fred, David & Christopher will now get on with the manufacture of all the bell fittings and bell frame. We offer our sincere congratulations and look forward to ringing on the new ring once it is complete.

Fred & Christine's bells after tuning was complete.

Polished and ready to go.

David, Fred & Christopher Pembleton collecting their bells - off to Glapwell.

Hornchurch, Essex, St Andrew's Parish Church:-     Originally rung from a lower gallery, the original rope guides were never re-sited once a new ringers' gallery was installed some years ago. Work has now been completed to reconstruct the rope guide and fix it at a higher, correct level.

Launceston, Cornwall, St Stephen, St Mary Magdelene & St Thomas Parish Churches:-     Maintenance work to the bells at all three churches in Launceston has now been completed, including work to headstocks, gudgeons and clappers.

Hatton, Warwickshire, Holy Trinity:-     This 13 cwt ring of six, the work of James Barwell of Birmingham and dating from 1885, had not been rung for some time. Maintenance work has now been completed to allow the bells to ring out once more. The work included a full service and the realigning of the 3rd bell bearings/gudgeons, the resiting of garter holes and the strengthening of the rope guide.

Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, St Peter's Parish Church:-     This ring of eight, with a 10 cwt tenor bell, comprises of a back six by Henry II Bagley dated 1681 and two Taylor trebles from 1981. The back six were rehung in a new cast iron and steel bell frame with new fittings by Taylors in 1955, with extension frame and fittings in 1981. Improvement work has now been completed, with the rope guide being strengthened, top plates being fitted to the canon retaining headstocks, and longer bell bolts being supplied and fitted.

Extended bell support bolts fitted.

John Taylor & Co
The Bellfoundry
Freehold Street
LE11 1AR
Tel: +44 (0)1509 212241
Fax: +44 (0)1509 263305