Nicholson Engineering returned to the tower this week, to begin the final phase of their contract – the reinstallation of the bells. This week they have been re-laying the floor, treating the timbers, anchoring the four supporting girders with concrete and installing screens in all four louvred windows in the belfry, (pictured).
On the day of this photograph, professional bellhanger, Ian Hasman, was being assisted by volunteers Bruce Leigh, left, and Joe Knight, right. The screens have a layer of stainless steel mesh to keep out birds and a layer of Galebreaker sheeting – the kind you see in cow sheds – to keep out driven rain during storms.Next week the team will further reinforce the steel supports with specially designed cross beams. Then in the week of 21st January we look forward to the delivery of our three new and five refurbished bells along with our fully refurbished frame and all the hammers and cranks for the carillon and clock chimes.
Our current target is to complete the reinstallation by February 22nd. We are lucky to have twelve volunteers assisting the bellhanger. This creates a considerable saving in the budget. The volunteers are Nick Assirati, David Hill, Nigel Hughes, Rob James, Joe Knight, Bruce Leigh, Jock Morris, Jeremy Reader, John Simms, Andy Vivian, Mark Ward and Ken Whalley.
We have high hopes that we will be dedicating our bells sometime in March.