Date set for Upper Sheringham church bells restoration
2018: The bells of All Saints Church, Upper Sheringham are set to ring again next autumn, after a wait of over eighty years.
At the meeting of the Upper Sheringham Parochial Church Council on Monday November 12, it was unanimously agreed to place the order with the bellhangers, Nicholson Engineering Ltd of Bridport, Dorset for the work to restore the six bells at All Saints Church, and re-hang them in a new metal frame.
The complete ring of six bells was cast by Thomas Mears II of Whitechapel, London in 1841, and is the only full set of bells in the Weybourne group of parishes. The bells have not been fully rung since the 1930s and it is expected to cost £75,000 to enable traditional English full circle bell-ringing to take place once again.
The bellhanger, Andrew Nicholson, has now agreed dates for the work which will start with the dismantling of the current installation and the removal of the bells to his works in Dorset in July 2019. A new metal frame will then be made, along with new fixtures and fittings, and the bells will be tuned before returning everything to the church. The original wooden medieval frame will remain in situ in the tower.
There will be a balustrade installed on the new gallery ringing floor once the work is completed. If all goes to plan, the work will be completed to enable the bells to be rung for Remembrance and Christmas next year.
Just over £46,000 has been raised so far from grants and personal donations and all contributions, no matter how large or small, will be very gratefully received. ‘Can you imagine a more exciting legacy than to be able to say “I helped those bells ring out”?’ said Sue Morton, Bell Appeal co-ordinator.
The following grants have so far been received or pledged:
North Norfolk Big Society Fund £10,000
Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers £5,000
Ashton Charitable Trust £2,000
Paul Bassham Charitable Trust £1,000
Anne French Memorial Trust £500
Allchurches Trust £1,750
“There are several more grants in the pipeline, so we are keeping our fingers crossed!” said Sue.
Once the work is complete, there will be an opportunity for anyone to have a go at learning to ring the bells – you don’t need to be involved in the church, attend services or be a Christian. Anyone interested should contact Sue (details below) and she will be delighted to give you a taster session.
Donations can be sent to Sue Morton, 4 Linden Grove, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8PD.
Cheques to be made payable to Upper Sheringham PCC.
Please contact them for a gift aid form on 01263 826078 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or donate online, at www.gofundme.com/upper-sheringham-bell-appeal .
“A big thank you to those who have donated so far – we couldn’t do it without you!” said Sue.
The picture above shows (l-r) the bellhanger (Andrew Nicholson), the project coordinator (Sue Morton) and the Rector (Fr Phil Blamire) testing the new gallery ringing floor.
To read our previous story about the Upper Sheringham church bell appeal, click here.
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