Characteristics.

Branch Steward’s subjective appraisal.

– Tower by tower –

Bells & ringing characteristics,

comments offered in good faith as at

>>> November 14th. 2018. <<<

Forward.

The commencement of our planned inspection and maintenance programme was seriously delayed due to the harsh weather conditions prevailing at the start of 2018. As at early November 2018, we have made good in-roads into our programme and are endeavouring to inspect at least a further one or two of the remaining three non-inspected towers during late 2018. 
The maintenance and inspection process re-commences Spring 2019, (weather permitting). Essential repairs only are fulfilled during the winter months.

    • Brixworth 6 – Regular usage. Heaviest ring of bells in the branch. Good tonal qualities. 5th. bell oddstruck. Good rope circle. One of three towers viewed but not inspected. No inspection date available. Informed as maintained and in working order.
    • Clipston 5 – Low to medium usage. Partial inspection, mid 2017. To be maintained with the support of the steward’s team. Specific maintenance work completed August, September 2018√. Historic bell installation.
    • Cold Ashby 6 – Low usage. Lightest ring of bells in the branch. Tenor bell ringer stands on bottom step of organ loft stairway. In working order. Maintained and inspected September 2018.√ .
    • Creaton 6 – Low to medium usage. Reasonable rope circle. One of three towers viewed but not inspected by the current Steward’s support team. 
    • Crick 8 – Regular usage. Maintained by the steeple keeper, tower captain and support of the Steward’s team. 5th. 7th. & tenor odd struck to varying degrees, to be investigated during 2018. Good tonal qualities. Fairly good rope circle. In working order. Inspected August 2017, March, July 2018. √.
    • Cottesbrooke 8 – Low usage. Good rope circle. Low-angle evening sunlight passing through west tower window can be a nuisance to ringers at No’s. 5, 6 and 7 positions. Inspected, along with minor remedial tasks carried out, November 2018.√. Further maintenance tasks to be implemented during our 2019 programme.
    • Draughton 4Low usage. (This tower is the latest entrant to our branch). Inspected 2017 and July 2018.√. Ongoing maintenance improvements. Smoother ringing and good tonal qualities. Historic bell installation. In working order although plain bearings must always be inspected and lubricated prior to commencement of any lengthy ringing activities or if bells have simply not been rung for a period of time.
    • East Farndon 6 – Low usage. Reasonable rope circle. Inspected 2016.√.
    • East Haddon 6 – Regular usage. Maintained by specific bell ringers with the support of the steward’s team. Ringing chamber now upstairs. Clapper position can be incorrect after raising tenor bell. Good electric lighting. Good rope circle although treble ringer has to stand on an extended platform step by exit door. Good tonal qualities. Partial inspection July 2018.√.
    • Great Oxendon 5 – Low usage. Good harmonics and tonal qualities. Some ropes may wander. Good rope circle. Partial inspection 2015. Inspected and maintained, Nov. 2018.√
    • Guilsborough 6 – Medium usage. Major overhaul completed by Nicholson Engineering, May 2018. Low ceiling. Smooth bell control and ringing. Good rope circle. Good tonal qualities. Visited June 2018.√. In working order.
    • Haselbech 8 – Low to medium usage. Maintained with the support of the steward’s team. Tenor sound was overwhelming in ringing chamber, now reduced. No. 5 broken stay removed, 15/8/2018. New stay to be fitted ASAP by TC. Maintenance work completed August 2018.√. Good rope circle.
    • Kelmarsh 6 – Low usage. Treble bell deep set. Gudgeon pins supported by plain bearings. Partial inspection, mid 2017. Inspected June 2018.√. In working order although plain bearing reservoirs must always be inspected and lubricated prior to commencement of any lengthy ringing activities or if bells have simply not been rung for a period of time.
    • Lamport 4 – Un-ringable. Unlikely to return to ringing standard in the foreseeable future. The bell installation will be inspected during 2019 purely to update data records.
    • Lilbourne 5 – Medium usage. Maintained by the steeple keeper with the support of the Steward’s team. Major overhaul & new ropes fitted, 2012. Good rope circle. Excellent tonal qualities. In working order. Inspected 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. √.
    • Long Buckby 8 – Good rope circle. Maintained by specific bell ringers with the support of the steward’s team. In working order. Inspected June 2018.√.
    • Maidwell 6 – Good rope circle. New ropes fitted. Partial inspection, 2016. Re-inspection due early 2019.
    • Marston Trussell 6 – Low to medium usage. Treble bell added, 2013Good rope circle. Maintained with the support of the steward’s team, August 2018 onwards. Inspected October 2017 and August 2018. √.
    • Naseby 5 – Low to medium usage. Historic bell installation. Good tonal qualities. Good rope circle. No’s.4 and 5 bells deep-set at hand-stroke. Inspections 2017 and 2018. Maintenance enhancements during 2018, ongoing during 2019.
    • Old 5  Historic bell installation. Venue for Guild Stewards’ meeting, 2016.  Un-ringable. Interesting diagonal frame & rural fittings. I am informed that a major overhaul will occur when “funding is available”. The Church authorities and parishioners would very much like the five bells to sound out again over the village of Old. Bell installation inspected October 2018 to update data records. 
    • Ravensthorpe 5 – These bells receive hardly any usage. Venue for Guild Stewards’ meeting, 2015. Ringing chamber is very dimly lit. Compact but good rope circle. Maintained. Inspected October 2018.√.
    • Scaldwell 5 – Regular usage. Maintained with the support of the steward’s team. Compact but good rope circle. In working order. Inspected 2016, 2017 and October  2018.√.
    • Sibbertoft 5 – Medium but mostly practice usage. Excellent tonal qualities. Good electric lighting. Compact but good rope circle. Cracked stay replaced, mid 2017. Maintained with the support of the steward’s team. In working order. Inspected October 2018.√.
    • Spratton 6 –  Low usageGood rope circleOne of three towers viewed but not inspected by the current Steward’s support team. 
    • Thornby 5 – These light bells receive hardly any usage. Two stays replaced, mid 2016. Good rope circle. Inspected 2016.√. 
    • Walgrave 5 – Low to medium usage. Heavy bells with good tonal qualities. Good rope circle. Initial maintenance programme completed mid 2016. Maintained with the support of the steward’s team.  Inspected 2016 and August 2018. Specific maintenance tasks carried out, September 2018.√.
    • Watford 6 – Hardly any usage. Historic bell installation. Ringing temporarily suspended pending major repairs to the roof and building. Tenor note out of tune. New stays fitted. No.5 bell proves somewhat difficult to raise and lower. Re-furbished ropes but stretchy and flailing No.5 rope. Further maintenance enhancements planned during 2019. Very limited ringing by experienced ringers only. Localised ringing, i.e. special Church services. Inspected June 2018.√.
    • Welford 8 – Regular usage. Good tonal qualities. Maintained with the support of the steward’s team. Stretchy No.5 rope. Hasting stay replaced, mid 2017. 7 out of 8 rope circle OK, except subjectively, not so good when ringing from 5th. rope position. In working order. Inspected 2017. √.
    • West Haddon 5 – Alfred Bowell installation. Low usage. Good tonal qualities. Rope alignment issues rendering damage to sallies. No.3 rope drops close to wall.  Ringing chamber dimly lit. Plain bearing reservoirs must always be inspected and lubricated prior to commencement of any lengthy ringing activities or if bells have simply not been rung for a period of time. Limited inspection, 2015. Inspected June 2018.√. With a strong recommendation to the Church authorities to suspend ringing activities until remedial work has been carried out, i.e. fitting of new rope bosses. Re-assessed October 2018, rope bosses to be fitted shortly.
    • Winwick 3 – Low usage. Maintained by specific benefice ringers with the support of the steward’s team. Long rope draught falling in a straight line. No rope guides, hence No’s. 1 and 2 ropes have a greater tendency to flail whilst No. 3 rope is slightly more forgiving. Suggest experienced ringers only. Historic bell installation. Inspected 2015 and June 2018. √.
  • Yelvertoft 6 – Regular usage. Maintained by the tower captain. Excellent tonal qualities. Good electric lighting. Good rope circle. Partial inspection 2015. Six new ropes and ceiling bosses fitted September 2018. In working order. Specific maintenance work carried out, August, September 2018. Inspected.√.

Please note :

  1. At Lilbourne, the Steward is also the steeple keeper.
  2. At Marston Trussell, Sibbertoft and Welford, the Steward’s team also act as benefice steeple keepers.
 Key to usage :
 
  • Regular = Weekly Sunday services and practice ringing.
  • Medium = Some Sunday services and some practice ringing.
  • Low to medium = Occasional Sunday services and at other special occasions.
  • Low = Occasional ringing.
  • Hardly any = Ringing takes place only on special occasions.

  • The ringable bell installations are subject to an ongoing programme of volunteer inspection & light maintenance duties within the Guild’s insurance remit and are carried out by the Steward and support team.
  • We offer this unique (P.D.G.C.B.R.) Guilsborough Branch service as an addition to, but not as a substitute to, the overall legal responsibilities of the respective Church authorities.
  • The Steward can only advise the Church authorities and has no authority to demand remedial action be taken against faults and repairs or demand ringing suspensions. (However, if instructed to do so, the steward will react on behalf of the Church authorities to achieve the above aims).

Statistics as at above mentioned date. 

TOTAL number of bells in branch 178 TOTAL number of bell tower installations in branch 31
Un-ringable bells 9 Un-ringable installations as per © Dove’s Guide. (Lamport, Old) 2
Ringable bells 163 Ringable installations as per © Dove’s Guide 28
Ringable bells with limitations 6 Limited ringable installations as per © Dove’s Guide
(Watford)
1
Number of bells requested by the steward not to ring pending remedial tasks 5 Bell tower installations requested by the steward not to ring at, pending remedial tasks.
(West Haddon)
1
Number of bells suggested by the steward as for experienced ringers only 9 Bell tower installations suggested by the steward as for experienced ringers only.
(Watford, Winwick)
2
Inspected ringable bells and fittings 139 Inspected ringable installations. 
(Cold Ashby, Cottesbrooke, Clipston, Crick, Draughton, East Farndon, Great Oxendon,Guilsborough, Haselbech, Kelmarsh,  Lilbourne, Long Buckby, Marston Trussell, Naseby, Ravensthorpe, Scaldwell, Sibbertoft, Thornby, Walgrave, Watford, Welford, West Haddon, Winwick, Yelvertoft)
24/29
Inspected bells (not frame and fittings).
(East Haddon x6, Maidwell x5) 


 Non-inspected bells.
(Maidwell x1)

11 


1

Limited inspection of bell installations. 
(East Haddon, Maidwell)
2
Non-inspected ringable bells and fittings ⇒ 18 ⇒ Non-inspected ringable installations.
(Brixworth, Creaton, Spratton)
3
Non-inspected un-ringable bells and fittings ⇒ 4 ⇒ Non-inspected un-ringable installations. 
(Lamport)
1
Maintained bells and fittings as at November 2018 ⇒ 146 ⇒ Maintained installations as at November 2018. (Brixworth, Cold Ashby, Cottesbrooke, Clipston, Crick, Draughton, East Haddon, Great Oxendon, Guilsborough, Haselbech, Kelmarsh, Lilbourne, Long Buckby, Maidwell, Marston Trussell, Naseby, Ravensthorpe, Scaldwell, Sibbertoft, Thornby, Walgrave, Watford, Welford, Winwick, Yelvertoft) 25/29
Ringable bells incorporating plain bearing / gudgeon pin assemblies ⇒ 21/169 ⇒ Plain bearing gudgeon pins,  ringable installations.
(Draughton x4, Kelmarsh x6, Watford x6, West Haddon x5)
4/29
 Known un-ringable bells incorporating plain bearing gudgeon pin assemblies ⇒  5 ⇒ Plain bearing gudgeon pins,  at known un-ringable installations.
(Old)
1
Un-ringable bells with no available bearing data ⇒ 4 ⇒ Un-ringable bell installations with no available bearing data
(Lamport)
1
© Dove’s Guide Locations : 
Brixworth, ⇒
6/178 ⇒ © Dove’s Guide installation data without frame tables 1/31
Lamport, ⇒ 4/178 ⇒ © Dove’s Guide installation data with 4 or more major fields to complete 1/31
Creaton,  ⇒ 6/178 ⇒ © Dove’s Guide installation data with 2 or 3 major fields to complete 1/31
East Haddon, Guilsborough, Kelmarsh, Spratton, Thornby, ⇒ 29/178 ⇒ © Dove’s Guide installation data with one major field to complete 5/31
Cold Ashby, Cottesbrooke, Clipston, Crick, Draughton, East Farndon, Great Oxendon,  Haselbech, Lilbourne, Long Buckby, Maidwell, Marston Trussell, Naseby, Old, Ravensthorpe, Scaldwell, Sibbertoft, Walgrave, Watford, Welford, West Haddon, Winwick,  Yelvertoft. ⇒ 133/178 ⇒ © Dove’s Guide installation data fields completed 23/31
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