An inspection made by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) dating back to 1980 recommended that within the next ten years the bells should be refurbished and tuned. Some work was done in 2002 to refurbish the clappers and roller boxes on the five oldest bells. Otherwise the installation has been largely untouched since the five oldest bells were re-hung in 1909 and the new treble bell was installed in 1957.
In 2005 a tuning analysis was done on the bells and in 2007 one of the Bell Foundries was asked to consider the feasibility of tuning the bells. A tuning scheme was proposed and the conclusion was that there would be a dramatic improvement in both tuning and tone of the bells.
In late 2009 it was decided that the time was right to fully consider the refurbishment and tuning of the bells. In February 2010 inspections were carried out by Bell Foundries and Bell Hangers and proposals obtained for the required refurbishment and tuning work.
In July 2010 the preferred proposal was presented to the PCC and their approval was sought to move forward with the project. Consultations have been made with the public, the Diocesan Bell Advisor, the Church Buildings Council, English Heritage and Natural England.
We will be meeting with the Architect and the Bell Hanger in January to work out a scheme for constructing the trap ways which are required to remove the bells from the tower. Once this has been done and estimates for the work obtained, the faculty application can be completed and submitted to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for approval.