Bell Restoration Predominates – an informal blog of the April 2019 Exec Committee

This meeting was fairly short, with Bell Restoration projects predominating, as at other recent Executive Committee meetings. Lynn Boniface was welcomed as the newly-elected Guild Secretary.

Holy Trinity, Guildford, is a historic tower with historic bells – four being 1769 castings by Lester, Pack and Chapman, with the remainder being 1912 Taylor’s castings. The tenor is almost 24 cwt and they are fairly tightly accommodated in the brick-built tower. The entire church was rebuilt in 1763, following collapse of the previous steeple. The local ringers state that the bells have become increasingly difficult to ring. Various ways of improving the bells have been considered, but based on a recent report by Taylors, the preference of the local ringers is now to install new, lighter bells lower in the tower.

Since this is a Grade 1 listed building, heritage considerations are critical, and some members of the committee expressed concern at the possible loss of one of the finest-sounding and most historic rings of eight in the Guild, particularly as the reason for the worsening ‘go’ of the bells was not fully understood. The committee asked that these concerns should be fed back to the Holy Trinity ringers, whilst accepting that the local ringers and PCC should be free to develop their own proposals.

The BRA had advised that an archdeacon’s certificate should be obtained to approve the installation of adjustable clappers at Crondall. The application was in progress.

The Holy Week training sessions had been well-attended, with a waiting list for raising and lowering practice. Roger Tompsett had run a well-received ringing theory course for the Chertsey District.

The Young Ringers took part in the South-East England striking contest held recently in Kent, where they came fifth. This was a commendable achievement, with two of the band making their striking competition debuts. David Pearson, their organiser, urged any tower with young ringers to encourage them to attend the monthly practices, which benefitted from a strong social element.

David had been asked to give a presentation on training young ringers at the Central Council annual meeting, to be held at Goldsmiths College in September. This annual meeting has been moved from the traditional Spring Bank Holiday and the intention is that the peripheral meetings will be open to all ringers.