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At long last, good news about the bell !

At long last, good news about the bell !

Removing the Bell for Repair

The good news is that recently two of our Friends have made an extremely generous gift of £6,000 to enable the medieval bell to be repaired. The two Friends are regular churchgoers at St John’s when they visit their family holiday home in West Runton and were minded to make a gift to the church in recognition of the joy and friendship they have received both at church and in the village.

At 8am on Tuesday 15 August Paul Mason (the professional bell hanger from Northampton) and his  colleague, Tim, arrived to remove the bell having driven over from Northampton. Jim Dumolo PCC and John (our Chairman) were on hand to assist if necessary but, more importantly, to make tea and coffee.

Everything went according to plan until midday when the 5cwt bell was suspended on chains above the final trapdoor. Paul thought he could squeeze it through without the need to dismantle the steep access ladder but the bell became stuck several times. With some pushing and shoving, Jim succeeded in shifting the base of the ladder just enough to allow the bell to be tilted through the trap door. From then on it was almost plain sailing. The next problem was that it wouldn’t go through the vestry door! Fortunately, Jim managed, with a little persuasion, to open the outside door to the tower (which hadn’t been opened for many years). Luck was on their side, for the bell, safely strapped onto a trolley, passed through the door with a centimetre to spare on either side. It took all four to push the trolley up into the van where it was well and truly strapped in for the journey to Soundweld at Cheveley, near Newmarket.

Paul and Tim will be back in mid September to install the bell, but in the meantime Jim and John will move the steep access ladder to give a few more centimetres clearance.