The long wait is over; the 139-year-old bells are returning to Eastbourne!
EASTBOURNE, EAST SUSSEX, May 2022 — After a wait of over a year, the 139-year-old bells of All Saints’ Church, Grange Road, Eastbourne, which had been taken out of the bell tower for long-awaited refurbishment in April last year, will be re-hung this month in time to be rung for H M Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Other than minor works, including new bearings in 1929, a new tenor bell clapper in 1982, and routine maintenance, no significant or major work has been undertaken on these 130+ year old bells.
The newly restored bells, together with all new modern fittings, will be brought back to the tower on Friday 20th May and will be on display in the church that weekend. The bells will be dedicated during the 10.00am service on Sunday 22nd May.
All the bells have been re-tuned to bring them into harmony and the various harmonics within each bell brought into alignment. Each bell has been fitted with a new headstock, clapper, new double ball bearing, wheel and stay. Back in the tower, new sliders and pulleys will be fitted and a rope guide fitted in the ringing chamber. Andrew Nicholson, of the bell hangers, Nicholson Engineering Ltd, says “All Saints’ will have a really splendid peal of bells.”
Bell ringer Philip Pawley says: “The preservation of bells cast 139 years ago with their inscriptions and timeless sound is important for maintaining our heritage for future generations. This project has provided an opportunity to improve the sound and handling of the bells. This, in turn, will attract learner ringers and retain experienced ringers for All Saints’, as well as becoming a tower which visiting bands of ringers would love to visit. We look forward to ringing these bells for the Queen’s Jubilee.”
The Revd. James Knowles, vicar of All Saints’, adds: “Along with the church family at All Saints’, I look forward to hearing the bells ring out again across the parish, calling people to worship the Risen Lord Jesus each Sunday morning.”
The complete ring of 8 bells will be on display in the church on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May 2022. The bells and fittings will be hoisted into the bell tower during the week commencing 23rd May 2022.