REPAIRS TO THE CHURCH BELL AND HEADSTOCK

During routine checking and maintenance of the church’s bellcote earlier this year (2017) excessive wear was found to the bell’s headstock with partial separation at its gudgeon’s / axle apertures. The risk of continued use was too great and therefore it was removed for further investigation and repair. Following dismantling a small fracture was found to the bell’s crown indicative of fatigue failure.

The work required to return the assembly to use entailed the repair of the bell’s crown; replacement of the headstock with appropriate seasoned oak; renewal of retractable stainless steel axles fitted with stainless steel springs built into the oak headstock; stainless steel support bands for the lateral timber extensions; the headstock’s circumferential retaining straps were renewed. To retain historical elements where possible, the headstock’s original vertical support rods were re-threaded and re-used, but their nuts were replaced as they were excessively corroded. All the non-stainless steel metal components were hot dip galvanized and painted.

The bell was refitted on Thursday 07th December and returned to its weekly use on the following Sunday; and yes, it sounds as clear as a bell.

We must acknowledge the excellent work carried out by Skyline Ltd of Oldham; in addition to the high standard of refurbishment of the bell’s assembly, their high level rope access skills meant that it was not necessary to use scaffolding, thus realising a substantial saving on costs.

Images of the bell and its refitting can be viewed shortly in the ‘Gallery’ page.

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