Pitney Bells Ringing Again!
by Jeremy Taylor.
After a 2 year project the refurbishment and augmentation of the bells in Pitney has recently been completed.
The old ring of 5 bells had become almost unringable due to age and a lack of maintenance and although the sound of the Pitney bells had a certain rustic charm there was no doubt that they were not particularly tuneful. The need to refurbish the bell fittings offered the ideal opportunity to re-tune the bells at the same time.
With 4 of the bells being listed as being of historical importance and 2 of these being maiden castings from 1399 there were limitations on the work that could be carried out and, as always, the final result was somewhat of a compromise. Working closely with Bob Parker and the Diocesan Advisory Committee approval was obtained to carry out a full refurbishment of the bells and the bell fittings. We were not allowed to re-tune the listed bells but instead were able to replace the medieval 2nd and 3rd bells with more modern (second-hand) bells and to re-tune the existing treble bell and the new 2nd and 3rd bells to be in tune with the 5th bell. An additional (second-hand) treble was added to augment the ring to 6 bells. The medieval bells have been hung dead in the tower for stationary chiming.
The costs have been mostly covered by generous donations and a grant from the Diocesan Association for which we are very grateful. The small outstanding amount has been underwritten by the PCC from their general account to be repaid following additional fund raising.
The works were carried out by Bob Parker. Work started in December 2013 and has recently been completed.
After the dedication service the proposal is to start holding ringing practices from 10.00 am until 11.30 am on the second and fourth Saturdays to develop a local band. All help will be much appreciated. Since starting this project I have moved from Pitney to Taunton. Although I shall be running the ringing practices in the short term I plan to pass this over to the local ringers in due course.