Restoration Project 2020
3rd & 4th August 2020
Today Anthony and Kit from Taylor’s Bell Foundry came to St Mary’s, Puddletown to start work on our bells.
With a bit of help from Robin, Paul, Howard, Nigel, Jayne and Emma, the heavy clappers were taken down the narrow winding staircase to the ground floor. The trap door in the clock room was opened, and wooden panels were removed from the floors/ceilings either side of the bell chamber and clock room, and the pendulum room and ringing chamber. This meant that large heavy planks of wood could be lifted through at the beginning of the week, into the bell chamber, to make a beam to raise the 5th and 6th bell with chains.
The wheels from the 2 bells were taken off in 2 parts. The wheel from the 5th bell could be taken down the staircase, but the wheel from the 6th was too big! Luckily it fitted upwards round the corner to the roof of the tower, where it was lowered by ropes to the ground.
The 2 large bells were now rested on some wooden beams as they were no longer hung as they should be. The headstocks were removed and lowered to the ground floor though the gaps that had been made down through the tower.
The clappers, wheels, and headstocks were put into the vans on Tuesday afternoon, and a metal ring sealed to the top of each of the largest bells. On Wednesday these rings were filled with resin, to form a flat top to the bells so that the new headstocks fit properly.
The restored clappers, wheels, and 2 new headstocks should be returned during September or October this year, and re-installed.