The Parish Church of St John the Baptist.
Following the disastrous fire at this church last year which completely gutted the tower, the 11cwt ring of eight was safely lowered to the floor and brought to the Foundry for safe keeping. The bells were a mixed ring, three by Thomas Lester dated 1739, three by Mears & Stainbank dated 1919, and two by Taylor’s dated 1901. Every one of the bells was badly cracked, and the ring could not be saved.
Working with the church’s insurers the 1901 cast iron & steel Taylor “H” frame has been checked over. The castings and steel grillage survived intact, and the steel beam ends have been dug out and exposed to check the internal damage to the tower walls caused by the fire. All the beam ends will be re-grouted into the tower walls, and additional support beams will be manufactured and installed beneath the bell frame to give it extra rigidity.
The bells will be recast to form a new 12 cwt eight, and all new fittings will be manufactured before the bells are rehung in the restored tower.
The preparation of the moulds for the new bells is underway.
Seven of the new bells have been cast thus far.
The headstocks are being cast and gudgeons fitted.
The new bells are in the fettling shop for cleaning.