BRAYFORD      

A rural parish in North Devon, England including Brayford village, High Bray and Charles, and a part of Exmoor National Park

 

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THE BRAYFORD BELLS RESTORATION PROJECT - PROGRESS AND NEWS
 
Click on the photos for larger versions

April 2011
 
On Saturday 23rd April a service of thanksgiving and rededication of the bells was held, with Rt Rev Robert Evens, Bishop of Crediton (Bishop Bob), and Rev Peter Atwood.  Along with hymns, prayers and Bible readings there were musical contributions from Brayford Singing Group and Brayford Primary School. 
 
At the end of the service there was an extended and impressive demonstration of bell ringing, and a wide selection of sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee to enjoy. 
 
                

 

     

March 2011
 
Work to repair the bell frame started on 28th March with the bells being replaced during the week 4th April. 
 

Four members of the High Bray Church Bells committee travelled to Taylorís of Loughborough to see repairs being carried out to the bells. This was an informative and interesting trip.  The site is a heritage centre, and Taylorís work in a very traditional way. A DVD of their work on the bells will be available.  The new shed for the church has arrived, which will also house a chemical lavatory.

 

     

August 2010
 
On 6th August a very successful and well attended barbecue was held in the church grounds. There is much interest in the project and, although this was not a fund-raising evening, contributions amounting to £670 were received.

More Photos

     

 
June 2010

 
A team of volunteers started work on cleaning the bells chamber - these photos were taken on 11th June.


 

     

May 2010
 
The project took its first step towards our goal on 17th May when our electrician, John Saunders, began the installation of lights in the upper bell chamber and in the old circular stairs of the tower, both of which had to be lighted to start work.  He will also be installing electric outlets on the ground floor of the tower and, when the accumulation of decades of equipment and bits and pieces is cleared out, this will be available for preparation of tea and coffee for village and church events.  The necessary application for Diocesan permission to do the restoration has already received approval from all of the reviewing bodies and will be filed in late May.  Funding organisations have been approached, and we have received positive reactions from a number of the major ones.  We are planning a day in the summer for a picnic and barbecue when we can show the bells to those who are interested.  We will have pictures and descriptions of what is planned in the restoration, and hope to have someone who rang our bells years ago to tell us how it is done!
 

February 2010
 
Following a thorough site visit by two firms, the lower quotation of £23,000 (+ VAT) from the John Taylor Bell Foundry of Loughborough was chosen. This firm are highly recommended and are approved in the Diocese. The work involved requires the removal of the bells from the tower, transporting them to Taylorís works for all fittings to be refurbished; renewing the existing oak frame and the placing of a steel foundation under the frame for more long lasting support so that the bells can be re-placed in the tower.
 
In addition to this work, the lighting in both the bell and ringing chambers and in the circular stairs will need replacing. An architect must also be retained to review the necessary plans and specifications of work, and new bell ropes must be purchased. Other less substantial costs of the project include the construction (by volunteers) of a shed for the equipment currently stored in the tower. This will provide room for the bell ringers without requiring a new ringing chamber, and will also create space for the provision of tea and coffee after Sunday service and any village events held in the church.
 
All of the foregoing is estimated at a total project cost of
£38,000.
 
Details of this project have been widely circulated within the community, and a Parish meeting was held on 11th February 2010 where it was given unanimous support.  All of the many elements within our community will be involved: the Primary School will be researching the history of our church and its bells and have also been asked to design a logo; various organisations have pledged to hold fund-raising events; and volunteers have agreed to assist Taylorís to help keep the projectís budget to a minimum. Furthermore, a sum of £1200 has already been donated. This project has met with much enthusiasm within the community and a number of members have already asked if they could participate in learning to ring the bells.

 

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Supported by Brayford Parish Council