Steeplekeeper’s blog

Steeplekeepers blog

June 2018:
Flies swept up. Safety inspection.

February 2018:
Safety inspection.

November 2017:
Flies swept up. Safety inspection.

September 2017:
Safety inspection.

July 2017:
Safety inspection after access by alarm contractors.

March 2017:
Safety inspection.

December 2016:
Safety inspection.

October 2016:
Finished tightening all of the many many nuts and bolts.
All 8 clappers have 2 coats of anti-slip paint on lower halves to prevent muffle slippage.

September 2016:
Clapper 6 removed, stripped, painted, assembled and greased, fitted.
Tightened all nuts and bolts connected to the bells, headstocks and wheels.
All 8 clappers centred to their bell by removing the rope, ringing up using the wheel and listening to the clapper striking evenly as the bell swings freely and lowers. Adjusted to centre using the twiddlepins.
Started work on tightening all the nuts and bolts to the bell frame.

August 2016:
Clapper 5 removed, stripped, painted, assembled and greased, fitted.

June 2016:
Safety inspection.

February 2016:
Safety inspection. All the flies and debris cleared from the belfry for another year.

December 2015:
Replaced the upper pulley on the 4 as it had worn a groove. Safety inspection.

August 2015:
Clappers 1,2,3,4 removed, stripped, painted, assembled and greased, fitted. Clappers 7 and 8 returned and were painted before fitting. Safety inspection.

July 2015:
Clappers 7 and 8 removed and sent off to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry for new bushes and staple-pins.

June 2015:
Measured clappers for new muffles. Moved the pulley on the 4 again, this time housing on a decent piece of Sapele hardwood. Moved garter hole and adjusted the tail to suit. Safety inspection.

April 2015:
Moved garter holes on the 1,3,6,7. Adjusted all tail lengths to suit.

February 2015:
Hung new ropes to the 1 and 2. Moved garter holes on the 2 and 5.

January 2015:
Received new ropes for the 1 and 2. Safety inspection. Cleared flies up again.

November 2014:
Cleared up flies. Covered rope hole surrounds and blocked holes around the trap door to try to prevent flies from entering the ringing room. Clappers 1,2,3,6,7,8 stripped apart, cleaned and greased. New staple-pins and bushes required for the 7 and 8 very soon. New staple required for the 7, the problem being the nut was missing from the staple-pin causing excess movement and wear. The 6 will need a new staple-pin and bush in a few years time.

October 2014:
Clappers 4 and 5 stripped apart, cleaned and greased. The grease channel on the 4's staple-pin had not been formed correctly so I had to modify by drilling a hole to join both sections of the channel together. Excess wear on both staple-pins. Both will need re-bushing and new staple-pins in a few years time. The pulley set up on the 4 is altered to lose one pulley and make the bell easier to ring.

September 2014:
Six new ropes arrive and are fitted to the back six. More donations allow for ropes to be ordered for the 1 and 2. Safety inspection.

August 2014:
Hung Jubilee and Ring 2000 peal boards. Bought and fitted gold coloured carpet bought off ebay for 99p.

July 2014:
Acquired carpet sample squares and laid out on the sound chamber floor to help deaden the sound. Emptied out the cupboard under the stairs.

June 2014:
Spliced new tails to the 6 and 7. Turned the top section of rope on the 6 as it was badly worn from two previously broken pulleys. Widened the rope holes through the floors as they were too small and the ropes were rubbing on them. Ran new timber around the perimeter of the sound chamber and sprayed gaps to the wall with foam to seal. Made up and fitted timber surrounds to the rope holes to try to prevent flies from falling down the holes. More donations come in so three more ropes ordered for the 3,4 and 5.

May 2014:
Replaced pair of pulleys on the 6. Ordered rope for the 8 as another donation has come in. Made a new box for ringers to stand on. Replaced the pulley on the 2 as it was very worn and vibration was felt down the rope. Cleared out the sound chamber of all materials, swept and hoovered. Painstakingly cleared all debris from the perimeter of the floor. Replaced some twiddle pins as the old ones weren't long enough.

April 2014:
Adjusted rope and tail lengths to allow for accurate measuring of new ropes.

March 2014:
Ordered ropes for the 6 and 7 as donations had come in. Safety inspection.

February 2014:
Some pulleys are still noisy. I decided that some grease channels may be blocked so I removed all pulley bolts to clean up and clear grease channels and then grease. Thoroughly swept up and hoovered all levels of the bell chamber of dead flies. Measured up for new bell ropes.

December 2013:
Fitted new pulley to the 7. Swapped badly worn pulley from the 8 to the 2. Greased all wooden pulleys. Greased all clappers.

November 2013:
Tightened all nuts and bolts. Safety inspection.

October 2013:
Acquired spanners to fit all nuts and bolts. Some spanners required minor grinding to widen their jaws to fit.

September 2013:
Purchased planed finished Ash for eight new stays and one blank. Cut and planed chamfers by hand and fitted all eight stays. Made three temporary stays from the old ones for brief use on the 1 or 2 and 3 and 5. Purchased Sapele timber and bolted onto the sides of the runnerboards to level them off.

August 2013:
Nick Dallison takes over the steeplekeeping duties. A thorough inspection takes place throwing up the following observations: All eight stays need replacing as a matter of safety as they are either split, made from oak, or incorrectly sized. All eight runnerboards are badly worn and levelling off recommended. Three broken pulleys to replace, the rest are in need of greasing. Some have excess wear causing them to be oval in shape which may cause vibration down the rope. The clappers need greasing. The back five clappers have excess movement in them. The rope on the 6 is badly worn due to two broken pulleys. Three sliders have previously been broken and have all been repaired. All metalwork requires painting.

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