BRF Report 2013

There was quite a lot of activity in the past year as the list shows. One big change on the financial front is the reinstatement of VAT relief on bell works provided the church is a listed building. As with all VAT matters it is not quite that simple and each case needs to be looked at separately. It may well be worth looking into getting VAT back from works done in the last 12 months. The removal of Chatham brings about mixed emotions. I think I am correct when I say this is the first ring totally transferred from Kent and certainly in my almost 50 years of “playing around with bells” in Kent this is the first ring that is not going back. The plus side is that they are going to an active church and will hopefully be put to good use.

  • Bearsted — The second broke a gudgeon during Sunday ringing. We made the bell safe and rehung it with new gudgeons and wheel supplied by Whitechapel.
  • Bredhurst — Removed and re-installed by KCACR last year and the PCC have since made a £250 donation to the BRF.
  • Broomfield — The architect was opposing plans here but has now been replaced so hopefully this one will move.
  • Burmarsh — Some routine maintenance and report with plans for further work
  • Chatham ex St Mary — The last ringing in Chatham took place at the beginning of November and the bells were then dismantled and removed to Taylor’s foundry for refurbishment before being rehung at Gorran in Cornwall. A letter of thanks has been sent from Bob Thornton of St Goran.
  • Chatham — A school has requested help to find a new bell
  • Chatham All Saints — Assistance and advice given regarding tubular bell installation and a single chiming bell.
  • Chiddingstone — A single chiming bell has been installed by Gillett and Johnston and to be known as the “Corby” bell in memory of Phil Corby. This bell hung on the outside of his house and was removed by KCACR.
  • Deal — Rope bosses fitted with some rope drops re-aligned.
  • Denton — Inspection and refit rope. Two bells in a three bell frame with interest in doing some remedials and possibly put the 3rd bell back. Quotes obtained.
  • East Farleigh — Clapper refurbishment, general maintenance and replacement of ground pulleys as required. See grant applications.
  • Folkestone St Peter — Inspection of a single bell.
  • Herne — Sound control to be fitted.
  • Hollingbourne — Augmentation to 8 proposed.
  • Higham — Routine check of bells.
  • Leaveland — Further advice given regarding replacement of a stolen bell. A replacement bell has been located and awaits hanging.
  • Monkton — New tenor bell installed and installation painted. A new floor has been installed under the bells with new lighting throughout.
  • Preston by Wingham — Routine check of bells to be arranged.
  • Sandhurst — The spare 5th bell is now going to Pitcombe in Somerset and we transported it to Whitechapel.
  • Seal — Installation of new rope guides. See grant applications.
  • Seal Chart — The bells have been re-modelled making the old 4th the tenor. The old tenor has been purchased and is currently in store at Whitechapel at no charge for 1 year. The old 5th has also been re-used. Some problems with ropes to be corrected.
  • Shadoxhurst — Inspection of a single bell to be arranged.
  • Shorne — Routine check of bells to be arranged.
  • Stanford — Replaced rope on a single bell
  • Strood — A new ring of 8 is proposed using 5 bells from Murston. A structural survey has been done and faculty applied for / granted.
  • Sturry — Routine check of bells to be arranged
  • Wouldham — Inspection and report with a view to rehanging.

The “heavy gang” consists of; “Redleader” Brian Butcher (also Diocesan bell adviser to Canterbury and Rochester), Chris Bassett, David Cawley, Alan Driver, Ivan Hart, Frank Lewis, Ian Parker, Harry Smith, Malcolm Smith (risk assessments), Peter Sims (health and safety), Russell Beardsmore, Fiona Gowdy, Malcolm Hitchcock, Peter Freeman. Apologies to anyone I’ve missed. There are normally a number of locals on any job.

Brian G Butcher
Bell Restoration Officer January 2014