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Open day to raise funds for bell project

Times Echo and Life / All News / Open day to raise funds for bell project
4 months, 15 days agoNo Comments.
24 MAR

Open day to raise funds for bell project

By timesecholife on in All News, Community News

A Moorlands church will be hosting an open day this weekend as part of its bid to raise funds to add two new bells in its tower. St Peter’s Church in Alton currently has eight bells and it is hoped to raise enough money to have a further two bells installed.

A Moorlands church will be hosting an open day this weekend as part of its bid to raise funds to add two new bells in its tower.

St Peter’s Church in Alton currently has eight bells and it is hoped to raise enough money to have a further two bells installed.

The cost for each bell is set to be £10,000, which includes all the fittings, and the team at St Peter’s is now running a fundraising campaign to purchase the two bells. Other work is also set to be carried out while the two new bells are installed, with the total cost of the project set to be £105,000.

The church has so far secured £69,500 in funding for the project, which includes a £9,500 grant from the North Staffs Association of Change Ringers.

A Tower Open Day is being staged at the church on Saturday (March 26) between 11am and 4pm.

The drop-in day will see visitors be able to take tower tours to see the current eight bells; enjoy tea or coffee and cake; learn about bells, bellringing and the project; as well as watch a presentation about the project and bell casting.

A spokesman for the church said: “The bells at St Peter’s are a fine ring of eight cast by Taylor’s of Loughborough and installed in a new steel frame in 1959 and are very highly regarded in terms of their sound outside the tower and also the ‘go’ of the bells and the sound inside the tower for the ringer.

The bells have needed little attention over the last 60 years and it is now time to overhaul some of the bearings and fittings, repaint the bell-frame and to look at improvements that should be made to ensure the bells serve the church and village well for the next 60 years and for future generations of ringers.

While the bells are a joy to ring for a band able to manage a heavy eight, which was the aim of installing them in 1959, the weight is a bit of a challenge for a local village band and we often ring the six lightest bells.

These are not tuned as a true ring of six would be and we propose to augment the bells with two smaller bells. This will give a true harmonic light six as well as retaining the current ring of eight and creating a glorious ring of ten.

The present bells themselves do not need any work other than surface cleaning. The bells and frame will be taken from the tower to Taylor’s workshop and thoroughly overhauled.

The bell frame and headstocks will be shot blasted to remove surface rust and then galvanized and repainted.

The bell bearings, clappers and pulleys will be renewed and overhauled. While the bells are out of the tower, the boarding behind the louvres will be replaced with adjustable openings to allow better control of the sound and the oak louvres visible on the outside of the tower will be renewed.

Two new bells will be cast to blend with the existing ring with new frame, headstocks and fittings. The clock will be converted to electric winding to give space for the new bells.

The ten bells and frame will be reinstalled in the tower.”

Anyone wishing to donate towards the two new bells at St Peter’s Church in Alton, can do so by going online to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stpeterschurchaltonstaffsbellfund.

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