It is rare to lose a ring of bells as a result of a conflagration, but last year a devastating fire tore through St John the Baptist’s Parish Church at Royston, Hertfordshire. The fire engulfed the whole church and burned out the tower, destroying all the floors, roof and all combustible bell fittings. The Taylor 1901 cast iron bell frame and bell headstocks all survived, and the bells remained hanging high in the tower.
Instructed by the insurers our bell hangers safely lowered the bells to the ground and they were removed to Loughborough for storage and assessment. The damage was all too plain to see, and every one of the bells was badly cracked and could not be saved.
But from the devastation restoration is now underway, and a new ring of bells will be cast and installed. The sound of bells will once more ring out from the tower of St John the Baptist.