Contracts/Work in Progress

JT News

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

Just at the early stage thinking about a bell project?

Phone us for a ballpark estimate of likely costs. 01509 212241  

Firing up the small furnace for handbell casting!

Roade, Northants, St Mary the Virgin:-     This church possesses a ground floor 10 cwt ring of six that are rung from the chancel. The bells were last rehung by Taylors in 1949, and the PCC has now placed an order for a rope guide to be manufactured and installed to make the bells easier to handle.

Ugborough, Devon, St Peter's Parish Church:-     The 19 cwt eight at this church are the work of various founders dating between 1762 &1931. The bells will be removed from the tower and brought back to Loughborough. Three of the bells (3rd, 6th & Tenor) will be repaired by welding, and then the entire ring will be tuned to a major key. New fittings will be manufactured for all the bells before they are rehung.

Bishampton, Worcestershire, St James' Parish Church:-     Maintenance work will be undertaken to bring this 10 cwt ring of six back to first class condition in time for the 80th anniversary of their rehanging by Taylor's in 1937. The clappers, crown staples and rope roller boxes will be restored, and some new bell ropes will be manufactured and supplied in time for their celebrations over the weekend of the 4th/5th November.

25 new profile bells were recently cast for Bournville's carillon - final voicing and balancing is still in progress.

India, Chemmalamattam Parish Church:-     This church has purchased the 11 cwt tenor bell from Richmond, North Yorkshire, where a new eight has been installed. The bell's Taylor fittings, dating from the 1930's, will be fully restored and the bell will be cleaned before it is shipped with a new bell rope for hanging at this church in India. (Bell cleaned and headstock fitted - ready for dispatch.)

Otley, West Yorkshire, All Saints' Parish Church:-    Major maintenance and restoration work will be undertaken on this 1922 Gillett & Johnston eight. The fittings will be removed from the bells and brought bback to Loughborough for restoration, and the bell frame will be cleaned and repainted before the bells are rehung. (Update:- Work on this project starts in September.)

Ibstock, Leicestershire, St Deny's Parish Church:-     A major restoration of this 10 cwt ring of six will be undertaken. The installation will be dismantled and brought back to the Foundry where the cast iron and steel bell frame will be rebuilt on a new galvanised steel grillage. The bell fittings will be overhauled before being rehung in the reconstructed bell frame.

Tom is a member of our design team - here seen using CAD which is the norm at Loughborough nowadays.

East Keswick, West Yorkshire:-     The Taylor chime of three bells at this church will be taken down and brought back to the Foundry for sand blasting. New bell pads and bell bolts will be manufactured, and their clappers, crown staples, return springs and bushes will be restored before the bells are rehung.

Revelstoke, Devon, St Peter's Parish Church:-      This 16 cwt eight is the work of Warners, and dates from 1881. A major restoration will take place. The bells and fittings will be removed from the tower and brought back to Loughborough. All new ringing fittings will be manufactured, and the bells will be cleaned and tuned. The bells will then be rehung in the Warner oak bell frame.

The small furnace fired up in the back foundry where all our small bells and components are cast.

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, The Minster Church of All Saints:-     Work will be carried out to bring the installation back into good condition. The 3rd bell from this 13 cwt Warner eight is cracked in the crown. This will be removed from the tower and brought back for repair. The clappers and crown staples will be fully refurbished, and work to sliders and stays will be undertaken. (Update:- The bell has been welded and returned by Soundweld. It's fittings are being rennovated and are nearly ready for dispatch.)

Ponteland, Northumberland, St Mary the Virgin:-     This 7 cwt ring of six dates from 2000, when five trebles were added to an existing tenor bell, and all were hung in a new bell frame on new ringing fittings by Fred Pembleton of Glapwell, Derbyshire. The church has now ordered two treble bells to complete the octave. These will be supplied to Pembleton's who are the main contractor. New fittings and extension framework will be manufactured and installed by them. (Update:- Both bells now ordered and will be cast later this year.)

Brackley, Northamptonshire, The Town Hall:-     Two bells from this town hall will be restored and rehung. The larger of the two has its crown broken out, and this will be recast. Mainly new fittings will be manufactured for the bells, one for swing chiming, one for full circle ringing, before the bells are rehung. (Update:- The recasting of the larger bell took place on our Open Day - 29th July. This bell has been tuned. We await instructions about hanging from the architects.)

Matt Johns & Roger Johns close up the Backley Town Hall bell mould prior to casting.

Little Cornard, Suffolk, The Parish Church of All Saints:-     This parish has placed an order for a major restoration and augmentation of their 7cwt ring of five. The installation has been in a derelict condition for many years, and it is thought that at least two of the bells are cracked. The bells, which date from 1399, 1597, 1707 & 1712, will be conserved and repaired as necessary, and have their partial tones improved by sensitive tuning. A new treble bell will be cast to augment the ring to six, and all new ringing fittings will be manufactured. A new cast iron and galvanised steel bell frame of "H" design will be manufactured, and this will be installed beneath the present ancient oak bell frame. Much of the design and technical imput for this project has been worked out in conjunction with local ringer, appropriately named John Taylor - many thanks to him. (Update:- Provisional date for casting new treble bell is 1st February 2018.)

Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire, The Guild Chapel of the Holy Cross:-     The "Great Bell" of this mediaeval Guild Chapel was cast as a curfew bell and is the work of Hugh Watts. It was cast on 10th July 1633 and weighs a massive 27 cwts. 3 qrs. 2 lbs. A new electro-magnetic tolling hammer and an automated controller unit will be manufactured and fitted to the bell so that it can continue to sound out the hours and daily curfew across the town.

Transferrring molten bell metal from furnace to crucible prior to casting.

Ewhurst, Surrey, S.S. Peter & Paul:-     This ring of eight bells (tenor 11 cwt) last had major work in 1938 when Taylors added four trebles and provided a new bell frame and all new fittings. New bells will be cast to replace the ancient 5th & 6th (Wokingham Foundry circa 1400) and these will be hung on new headstocks with other fittings refurbished and altered as necessary. The ancient bells will be retained in the tower. New headstocks will also be manufactured and fitted to the two tenor bells, and the fittings of the front four bells will be overhauled. (Update: Provisional date for casting 18th January 2018.)

Cretingham, Suffolk, The Parish Church of St Peter:-     This ancient ground floor ring of five with a 7 cwt tenor bell was last rehung by Alfred Bowell of Ipswich in 1911. The bells date from 1416, 1499 & 1661. An order has now been placed for the casting of a new treble bell to augment the ring to six. This will be supplied with all new fittings and be hung in the vacant treble pit of the Bowell six bell steel bellframe. Some of the existing bell fittings will be refurbished, and new fittings supplied as necessary before the bells are rehung. (Update:- New treble bell was cast on 15th June.)

Crettingham's new treble, fettled and ready for tuning.

Belgium, Ypres, St George's Memorial Church:-     Sited close to the famous Menin Gate, St George's was built as a memorial to the British & Commonwealth soldiers who gave their lives in World War I. To mark the centenery of the end of that conflict, a new ring of eight bells will be cast (tenor 6 cwts). New bell fitttings and a new bell frame will be manufactured, and the installation will be completed later this year. This will be the first English Change Ringing ring of bells to hang in a church on the continent of Europe. (Update:- The new ring has been tuned, and sounds beautiful. Manufacture of fittings and bell frame has been completed. Proposed installation begins 4th September.)

St George's Memorial Church, Ypres, Belgium.

Ypres new ring of eight bells.

The Harrow School tenor bell on the ringing up stand.

The new bell frame with bells and fittings ready for dispatch..

Alan Regin with the ring of bells he masteminded.

Ypres new banner, ready for display at St George's for their dedication.

Bristol, St Mary Redcliffe:-     A contract has been placed for major maintenance work to be undertaken on this classic Taylor 50 cwt ring of twelve. The bell fittings will be removed and the bells protected to allow the cast iron and steel bell frame, which dates from 1903, to be properly cleaned and repainted. Work will also be carried out on some of the clappers and crown staples, Hastings mechanisms and rope roller boxes. A new bell wheel will be manufactured and fitted to the eighth bell, and all restored fittings will then be reassembled.

Exeter, Alphington, St Michael & All Angels:-     This complete eight by Thomas I Bilbie dates from 1749. A full restoration was undertaken by Taylors in 1939, with the bells being tuned and new bell fittings and a cast iron and steel bell frame being provided. Major maintenance work will now be undertaken in two phases. In the first phase all the clappers, crown staples and rope roller boxes will be removed to Loughborough for complete refurbishment. Phase two involves the lifting of all the bells for the cleaning/replacement of bearings and the cleaning and painting of the bell frame.

Wylye, Wiltshire, St Mary the Virgin:-     Major work was carried out on this 9 cwt ground floor ring of six in 1898 by Mears & Stainbank when two of the bells were recast. Major maintenance work is now to be taken in hand. This will include new clappers for the smallest four bells, the largest two being refurbished. The rope roller boxes will be fully restored, and the bells will be lifted from their pits and have their bearings cleaned. The tenor bell will have its iron crown staple roots drilled out in the tower. The wooden bell frame will be made more rigid by the tightening of tie rods and metal bracing brackets, and all metal components will be cleaned and painted. The wooden bell frame will be treated to prevent further decay by wetting and insect attack. A new set of bell ropes will be supplied and fitted to complete the restoration project. (Update: Faculty applied for.)

Casting a new "lowside" frameside - cast iron is tremendously strong and rigid, and even when left unpainted hardly deteriorates - an ideal material for bell frames.

Backwell, Somerset, St Andrew's Parish Church:-     This 18 cwt ring of eight is the work of various founders, with the oldest bell dating from 1540. Taylor's retuned and rehung the original back six in a new cast iron and steel bell frame in 1901, and extended the frame and added two trebles in 1938. The parish has now placed an order for a major restoration and augmentation to take place. All of the frictional parts will be returned to the Foundry for restoration, and the iron roots of the crown staples of the older bell will be removed by being drilled out. The bell frame will be rearranged and extended to accommodate ten bells, and then the entire frame will be stripped down and be repainted. Two new trebles will be cast, and new fittings manufactured before the entire ring is rehung. (Update:- Provisional date for the casting of the trebles - 30th November.)

Matt Johns with new haircut breaks up a bell ready for recasting - large sledge hammer hidden by his side.

Sutcombe, Devon, St Andrew's Parish Church:-     This church houses a Taylor ring of six (tenor 6 cwts) that was installed in 1932. The bells hang in a cast iron and steel two teir bell frame with bells 1, 3, 5 above and 2, 4, 6 below. The base girders of the bell frames have eroded to such a degree that the entire installation needs to be removed from the tower, and the bell frame rebuilt on new galvanised steel grillages. The rebuilt bell frame will be slightly redesigned to give a better rope drop. The bells and all the other fittings will be cleaned (iron fittings by sand blasting) and restored before being returned to the tower.  (Update:- All the 1932 Taylor components have been cleaned and restored. The bell wheels have been re-soled and re-shrouded. The re-building of the bell frame on a new grillage is underway.)

The cast iron frame sides have been sandblasted and primed ready for their top coat.

The bell wheels have been restored with new soling and shrouding.

Bells cleaned and headstocks fitted.

Australia, Ingleburn, Holy Family Catholic Church:-      Our good friend, Ron Shepherd is creating a "new" ring of bells at Ingleburn. We will work with him as a sub-contractor as the project develops. At present he is also working with the Keltek Trust and we will be using three bells we have in stock, and casting two new bells - with a third new bell to follow as fundraising progresses. We will also supply ropes, clappers and crown staples etc. (Update:- Two bells were cast on 3rd August - fettling and tuning next.)

Bampton, Cumbria, St Patrick's Parish Church:-     An order has been placed to cast a new ring of six bells, with a tenor bell weighing 5 cwts for this church. All new ringing fittings will be manufactured, together with a new galvanised steel bell frame which will be sited lower in the tower. The existing unringable five and their hardwood bell frame will be left in situ, with bell wheels and other fittings removed, and the bells and frame will be conserved. New access ladders will be manufactured and installed, together with a new belfry floor under the new ring.  (Update:- Provisional date for the casting of this new ring - 27th September. Proposed installation date starts 20th November.)

The old drawing office was recently refurbished and has proved useful for social occasions or when hosting visiting groups.

Dunbarton, Scotland, St Patrick's R C Church:-     The twenty-three bell Gillett & Johnston carillon at this church was installed in 1927. Maintenance work has been carried out by us in recent times, and the parish has now placed an order for the cleaning and de-rusting of the bell frame, and its complete re-painting. (Update:- The cleaning, de-rusting and re-painting of the bell frame nears completion.)

Berkeley, Gloucestershire, St Mary the Virgin:-     This 23 cwt ring of ten is to be removed from the tower and brought back to Loughborough for restoration. The iron and steel bell frame is the work of Thomas Blackbourn (1899) and Mears & Stainbank (1921) and is on two levels. This will also be removed from the tower, and will be rebuilt on a new galvanised steel base, with additions and adaptions, as a single tier bellframe. All of the bell fittings will be overhauled and restored, before the bells are returned to the tower and rehung. (Update:- The headstocks, gudgeons and bearings have been restored. The rebuilding of the bell frame nears completion. Bells have been retuned. Installation in the tower begins 12th September.)

 Colin rebuilds Berkeley's bell frame using the cast iron framesides dating from 1899 after they have been cleaned by sandblasting.

Bell hanging apprentice Kit checks and cleans/replaces Berkeley's bearings on the 1978 Taylor headstocks.

Girdar with Berkeleys retuned tenor - all the bells have now been retuned and sound much better.

Rachel & Jamie Semken start blacking up Berkeley's bells after sand blasting and tuning.

Blockley, Gloucestershire, S.S. Peter & Paul:-     This 16 cwt ring of eight, together with its bell frame and fittings will be removed from the tower for a major restoration project. A new ten bell  "lowside" cast iron and galvanised steel bell frame will be manufactured. Two new treble bells will be cast, and the tenor bell recast, the other bells being tuned. New fittings will be manufactured for all the bells, and the augmented ring will then be rehung in the tower. (Update:- This ring of bells, its frame and fittings has been removed from the tower and is at Loughborough. The moulds for the three new bells are in preparation, and the bells will be cast on 6th & 28th September. Proposed installation date is 30th October.)

Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, St Mary's Parish Church:-     An order has been placed to remove this unringable five from the tower for a complete restoration and augmentation. The present ring, with a tenor weighing 6 cwts., is the work of three different founders, and the bells date between 1619 & 1866. It is thought that at least one of the bells is cracked, and the repair of this and other conservation work will be undertaken. A new treble bell will be cast to augment the ring to six, and new fittings will be manufactured for all the bells. A new bell frame will also be manufactured and this will be sited lower in the tower once installed. (Update: Manufacturing work nears completion. Installation in the tower begins on 29th August.)

Black Bourton's bells ready to be transported (Photo: Brian Butcher.)

Girdar with Black Bourton's new treble after tuning.

London, Chelsea Barracks:-     An order has been received to cast a new 22" diameter bell for the chapel at this famous army barracks. The bell will be supplied and hung with full fittings for swing chiming.  (Update:- New bell was cast on 6th July and has been tuned. Manufacture of fittings underway.)

Foundry master Roger shakes Chelsea's new bell from its mould.

Bradwell on Sea, Essex, St Thomas:-     The oak eight bellframe at this church is the work of John Williams, and dates from 1744, when Robert Catlin cast and installed a ring of eight bells, tenor 8 cwts. Local history records that all eight were still in the belfry in 1818, but by 1848 only five remained, with the two trebles and the tenor having been removed. Mears & Stainbank cast a new tenor in 1948 as a War Memorial, but the treble pits remained empty. The bells will be removed from the tower and brought back to Loughborough for quarter turning and conservation work. New fittings will be manufactured, and two new matching profile trebles cast to complete the octave before the bells are rehung. (Update:- Manufacturing work nears completion. Installation in the tower begins 21st August.)

Dug up and fettled, the new trebles - fine castings.

Mick making one of the new treble bell wheels.

Some of Bradwells' inscribed headstocks - a mixture between canon retainers for the bells with canons and normal headstocks for the modern bells with flat heads.

Easington, North Yorkshire, All Saints:-     This 6 cwt chime of eight is the work of G &J (1932) and Taylors (1937). One of the main support girders will be replaced together with all the bell bolts in stainless steel. All the trigger action clappers and pulleys will be converted and restored and the transmission replaced. (Update:- All structural steel work and replacement of bolts etc completed. Work to clappers etc outstanding.)

Pillerton Hersey, Warwickshire, St Mary's Parish Church:-     This unringable three are to be rehung on new fittings for full circle change ringing. The last work on them was carried out by Bond of Burford in 1900, when a new composite bell frame of oak and cast iron was installed. The cast framesides will be re-used when a new foundation grillage of galvanised steel is constructed. Extra framesides will be manufactured to create a five bell frame, and another bell, ex Adlestrop, will be added to create a ring of four. It is hoped the fifth bell will follow before too long.   (Update:- Bells have been removed and are at Loughborough. Proposed installation in the tower begins 13th November.)

Downside Abbey, Bath, Somerset, The Bededictine Abbey Church:-     An order has been placed for work to be undertaken on the two bells in the Abbey's Bell Tower. The smaller of the two, the "monastery bell", is to have its electromagnetic hammer replaced, together with a new programmable controller unit and its surrounding supporting steelwork will be restored. Great Bede, the abbey's 5 ton bourdon bell, will be rehung in the tower on a massive new cast iron headstock designed for slow swing chiming. It's other fittings will modified as necessary to fit the new headstock, and it will also have its side tolling hammer overhauled and its electrical controls upgraded. A new programmable unit will be supplied and fitted. (Update:- Our engineers have begun the restoration work to the supporting steelwork. The casting of the headstock and couterbalanced clapper will take place in the coming months.)

Mick with the patterns for the massive new headstock and clapper for Downside Abbey's 5 ton bourdon.

Kirkham, Lancashire, St Michael's Parish Church:-     The PCC of this church has placed an order for a major restoration project to be undertaken. The existing 1846 Charles Mears eight (tenor 20 cwts) will be removed from the tower, together with its bell frame and all fittings. A new ring of ten bells (tenor 17 cwts) will be created using the largest four bells from the redundant chime at Porth, Glamorganshire (Taylors 1935), and casting six new treble bells to match these. A new cast iron and galvanised steel bell frame will be manufactured, together with all new bell fittings, and the new ring will then be hung for ringing. (Update: Work on the new bell frame has begun with the casting of the massive "H" frames in our Foundry. New bells were cast on the 6th & 20th July 2017 and are now being fettled. It is proposed to start installing the new ring on 9th October.)

Roger & Matt lift the pattern from the mould of one of the massive cast iron "H" frames - fourteen to be cast altogether.

Kirkham's new 6th bell being cast.

  

Kirkham's trebles straight from the foundry - fettling almost complete - tuning next.

Kirkham's "new" tenor bell - the back for were cast at Loughborough in 1949 - here being readied to machine flat its head - sandblasting cleaning next.

Australia, Rosemeadow, NSW, The R C Church of Our Lady Help of Christians:-     A contract has been placed for a new light ring of eight bells (Tenor 5 cwts in the key of C). Four new bells (Nos 2,3,4,& 7) will be cast to match four existing harmonically tuned bells that have been stored at our Foundry. New fittings will be manufactured for all eight bells, and a bellframe design will be supplied to Ron Shepherd, who will manufacture it locally and install the bells. (Update:- New bells scheduled to be cast on the 31st August.)

Brinkworth, Wiltshire, St Michael & All Angels:-     The back five of this 18 cwt ring of six were cast in 1663 by William III & Richard II Purdue, the treble being added by Mears & Stainbank in 1924. The parish has now placed an order for the bells to be removed from the tower to Loughborough, and for all new fittings to be manufactured for them. It is known that the 3rd and tenor bells are cracked in the crown, and these will be repaired by specialist welding. The other bells will be examined by dye penetration testing to check that they are sound, and any others found to be cracked will also be welded. The bellframe is of cast iron and was manufactured by Warners in 1903, and this will be retained when the bells are rehung. (Update: Bells and fittings ready for dispatch.)

Our clapper man, Simon, machines Brinkworth's crown staples and clappers - and a beautiful job he makes of them.

After much welding Brinkworth bells are finally fitted out and ready for dispatch.

Rochdale, Greater Manchester, Christ Church, Healey:-     The PCC of this church has placed an order for restoration work to be undertaken on their 15 cwt ring of six. The bells were cast at Loughborough, the tenor in 1851, the remaining five in 1870. The bells were last rehung by Mears & Stainbank in the first quarter of the 20th century. The bells will be lowered into their pits and the fittings will be removed from the tower and transported to the Foundry. New gudgeons and bearings in cast iron bearing housings will be manufactured and fitted to all the headstocks. The bell wheels will be restored with new shrouding etc as necessary, and new ground pulleys will be manufactured and fitted. The clappers and crown staples will be fully restored. The old bell frame will be removed and a new galvanised steel "H" design bell frame will be constructed and installed and the bells rehung in it. A new sound insulated ringing chamber ceiling will be constructed and installed to complete the project..    (Update: Installation in tower nears completion.)

Christ Church, Healey.

Healey bells ready for dispatch.

Laughton-en-le-Morthen, South Yorkshire, All Saints:-    An order has been placed by this church for the installation of the ring of six bells originally destined for the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. These bells originally hung in Writtle Parish Church, Essex and have now been purchased by The Keltek Trust after it was found that they were too heavy for the University Chapel Tower. The existing three bells at Laughton were rehung by Taylors on new ringing fittings without stays or sliders in 2000 AD for swing chiming in the old bell frame, and this installation will be left in situ. A new galvanised steel bell frame for six or eight bells will be installed beneath this and all new ringing fittings will be manufactured before the bells are hung.

The project has also now been enlarged to include the installation of a new bell chamber floor and ringing chamber ceiling and access ladder between them. Clock weights shafts will also be need to be constructed to ensure sound levels at ringing chamber level are correct.

(Update:This project will begin once the Diocese of Sheffield issues the Faculty which will take place once stonework repairs at the base of the spire are agreed with the newly appointed church architect.)

Butterton, Staffordshire, St Bartholomew:-   The ring of three from this church, with a tenor weighing 8 cwt 3 qrs 10 lbs, was cast by Taylors in 1872 and has been unringable for some time. The bells have been removed from the tower and brought back to the Foundry to enable building work to take place internally at the base of the tower. The church have placed an order for a new bell frame for six bells to be constructed and installed. The existing ring of three will undergo conservation and tuning, and new ringing fittings will be manufactured for them before they are rehung in the new bell frame. The ring of six will be completed using two ex Mirfield bells and a newly cast treble.  (Update:- The new treble bell has been cast. Installation of the project in the tower is expected to begin on 8th January 2018.)

The mould for Butterton's new treble bell is being prepared.

Taylor Bell Ropes:-   Full details available by contacting our office (office@taylorbells.co.uk) or by telephone 01509 212241.  

   

Finished ropes ready for dispatch - salley colours are chosen by the customer.

Handbell Department:-   A steady stream of work keeps this department busy.  Old sets come to us for full restoration and new sets are cast in our Foundry and are then fitted out in our handbell department.

          

Handbells moulds ready for casting.                 A completed set made by David Cole our handbell engineer.

Loughborough, Taylor's Bell Foundry Carillon Tower:-  in 1904 Taylor's produced the world's first carillon ever to be harmonically tuned to equal temperament, and a carillon tower was built to house it as part of the Foundry buildings. This tower should not be confused with the campanile tower that houses the ring of twelve bells. Eventually the Foundry carillon was expanded to encompass four chromatic octaves of bells (49) and carillonneurs from all over the world came to play it. Sadly, in times of hardship all of the bells from this carillon were either used for their metal or sold individually until none remained. The Board of Taylor's has decided that a new carillon should be installed to replace the original, and already 27 bells have been cast towards this. Work proceeds as time and money allows, and although progress is slow, headway is being made. (Update:- No further progress can be made until the restoration of the tower itself has been completed, and this is a small part of the overall restoration plan for the Foundry. As this relies partly on a successful Heritage bid we could still be a few years away from completion.)

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