Friday, 11 October 2013

Full video now on YouTube

The full half-hour Bell Refurbishment video is now available to view on YouTube.

The DVD of this video is no longer available to purchase.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

DVD Now Available

It's been over four months in the making, but finally the DVD has been finished!  This half hour documentary follows all aspects of the re-hanging of the six bells at Flitwick.  It starts in October 2011 with the cutting of the trap ways, all the way through to April 2013 when the newly tuned bells were re-hung in the tower.  Much of the work was done by the Bell Ringers and their supporting friends and this short documentary captures their achievements.

The DVD is no longer available.

Technical Details:
Duration: 33:45
Video Format: PAL 16:9 (Widescreen)
DVD Media: DVD-R
DVD Region: 0 (All Regions)
DVD Packaging: Poly-sleeve with paper insert

Updated Bell Information

The weights of the bells were previously estimated.  When the bells went away for tuning they were weighed, giving us accurate weights for the first time and showing that the previous estimates were mostly major over-estimates!  The nominal frequencies of the new tuning are also shown for each bell.

14-1-201279.0 HzE27.63"1957Mears & Stainbank
24-3-111143.9 HzD29.75"1867John Taylor & Co
35-1-01023.0 HzC31.00"1608John II Clarke
46-0-18956.3 HzB33.75"1631James Keene
57-0-13855.3 HzA35.25"1653Miles III Graye
69-1-9765.0 HzG39.25"1654Miles III Graye

This information is taken from our entry in Dove's Guide.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Rehanging The Bells

Here are some pictures of the Four being rehung on Monday 15th April.  They are stills from video footage taken for a DVD that we are putting together to document this project.

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Bells Return

On Friday 12 April the bells were returned to the church.  They were lined up in the nave of the church in front of the chancel .  The bells were re-dedicated by Revd Canon Michael Bradley during Sunday service on 14 April.  After the service many members of the congregation came to look at the bells and ask the bell ringers questions.

On 15 April Whites returned to re-hang the bells in the tower.  All six bells are now safely hung in the bell chamber and work on the bells will continue during the rest of the week.  It is anticipated that the bells will be ready to ring at practice night on Friday 19 April.  Photographs of the re-hanging work will appear on this site soon.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Painting The Frame

We have just completed painting the bell frame.  Whites the bell hangers have also recently fitted new bearing pads to the frame making it ready for the bells to be re-hung in about a weeks time.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Preparing The Frame

We're currently preparing the bell frame ready for painting.  Over the past few weekends we have been busy chipping, scraping, wire brushing and sanding the old paint from the frame to make a good surface to apply the new coat of paint to.  We aim to have this preparation completed over the Easter weekend, ready to paint the following weekend.  We have been told that the bells will ready to be re-hung in a couple of weeks time!

Friday, 8 March 2013

March Update

All the bells, including the tenor, have been tuned and are now back at Whites.  We have been told that the bells sound very good, so we can't wait to hear them!  Whites are now fabricating the new headstocks.  The new clappers have been made and the new staples are in progress too.  We are hoping that the bells can be refitted in the tower around the end of April.

Friday, 15 February 2013

February Update

The crown of the Tenor bell was found to be very thin and it contained many holes making this part of the bell very weak.  It was decided that the best course of action would be to get it welded by a specialist welder to fill the holes and thicken the crown of the bell.  This additional work will cost around £3,000.

The welding has been successfully completed and all the bells are currently at Whitechapel Bell Foundry being tuned.  When the tuning is complete the bells will be returned to Whites who will then fabricate all the new fittings and refurbish the existing bell wheels.  It is expected that this will take another couple of months, during which the Bell Ringers will rub down and re-paint the bell frame in the tower ready for the return of the bells.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Removing The Tenor

Dismantling The Bells

On 7 January 2013 we started the second phase of our refurbishment project.  First of all the fittings for all six bells were removed and the trap ways were opened to provide a route from the bell chamber at the top of the tower down to the ground.  The first bell to be lowered down was the largest bell, the Tenor, which weighs about 10 cwt (0.5 tonnes).  This bell took the longest to get down as it got stuck in the ringing chamber trap way.  After a bit of persuasion it finally cleared the trap way and was lowered down to the ground.  The smallest bell, the Treble, was next and this was lowered down without a hitch.

On the second day, the remaining four bells were lowered down in the order Two, Three, Four and Five.  After the Bell Hanger had taken measurements of the frame, the pulley blocks and other frame fittings were removed.  On Thursday 9 January the bells were loaded onto the lorry and taken away for tuning and refurbishment.  Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to help.

The Tenor raised out of its pit.

Being lowered from the bell chamber into the ringing chamber.

In the ringing chamber - will it fit through the trap way?

Hmm, not quite... it needs some help.

It's through!

Nearly there.

Made it!

All the bells down on the ground.

Tenor, Treble, Two and Three waiting for the lorry.

Four and Five also.

The Five is the last bell to be loaded.

All ready to go.