Project to fix historic church bells delayed by coronavirus ‘hitch’
- Credit: Antony Kelly/Sue Morton
A £75,000 plan to put a set of historic church bells back into use for the first time in 90 years has been delayed after the coronavirus pandemic left volunteers unable to lend a hand.
The scheme to repair the derelict six bells in the tower of All Saints Church in Upper Sheringham was launched in 2018.
It will enable traditional English full circle bell-ringing to take place once again. The bells have not been rung like this since the 1930s.
The bells were removed from the 900-year-old church and taken to Nicholson Engineering of Bridport, Dorset, last year, where a new metal frame was made, along with new fixtures and fittings, and the bells have been tuned. The original wooden medieval frame remained in situ in the tower.
Appeal coordinator Sue Morton said: “We were almost there with the builders and bellhangers due to do the preparation works for the new frame, and then lockdown hit.
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“Now the Church of England has agreed that building works can resume inside churches as long as the necessary procedures are followed, we are looking to resume the project.
“However, there is a hitch. Due to health concerns we are no longer able to use our wonderful volunteer helpers which has added a few thousand to the final sum we need to find.
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“So now, I am faced with the challenge of raising yet more money while in lockdown.”
MORE: ‘The regulars are loving it’ - Summer arrives as hundreds flock to coastOne idea she has come up with to fundraise is to offer to ring a quarter peal on their Saxilby Simulator, which is a bell wheel with weights attached rather than an actual bell. The sound is then made via a computer.
She added: “The plan is, in return for a donation of £50, either I or my husband will ring a quarter peal on the simulator with a bellringing programme ringing the other bells, and people can join in on one bell. This is just as challenging as normal ringing. We will then produce a personalised certificate with a photograph.”
interested in purchasing a simulator quarter, then email email@example.com. Alternatively, go to www.gofundme.com/upper-sheringham-bell-app