Church Tower Repairs
UPDATE: 6TH MAY 2020
Work on the church bell tower, which had been due to restart 6 April, could not continue to the original schedule, but our sturdy contractors Ships Carpentry will do some work, with two people at a time working at the repointing that can be done. Other parts of the project have been rescheduled. Hewaswater Engineering which was to have provided the external scaffolding is completely closed for the duration, as is Nicholson Engineering, which has our bells in their Dorset workshop.
The bells and bell mechanism of All Saints’ St Ewe were dismantled and removed from the tower between 4 – 8 November 2019. That is, on time and to schedule!
One expert was needed, the foundryman Tim Whitehead sent by Nicholson’s Engineering. Tower Captain Charles Francis organised the team of St Ewe volunteers Richard, Pete, John, Roger, David, Barney, and Dave of Gorran. Working in shifts they provided all the remaining manpower, a great help to the budget for the overall project, and a great day out for them by the look of it.
Remember that the bottom four bells were taken down for a partial repair in the ‘80’s, but the top two bells which are the heaviest have not been taken down since when they were installed in 1926. Galvanizing doesn’t protect the beams forever from the wet tower conditions, and rust had seized many bolts. Some people who saw the condition said they’d be surprised to see the job done in two weeks, especially as the space to even to stand and work within the tower ringing space is so tight that only three men could fit there at one time.
All of the mechanism was removed, labelled, and transported on 8 November to the Bridport Dorset works where they will be further dismantled, cleaned, repaired or replaced, and painted. Then the entire works will be reassembled and tested at the foundry before dismantling them again for transport to St Ewe in May
The pictures below show work so far:
While our bells are still at the foundry, some of the crew want to go up to Bridport to see them and have a tour of other bells being worked on and the foundry itself. If you’d like to come to see the bells at the Bridport foundry about April, or join the guided tour of St Venn to be led by Louise Lubbock in the Spring, please contact