Video: Church bells rededicated after £80,000 scheme in Averham
7:30am Thu Jul 10, 2014
Project leader Martin Cooper, left, and volunteer Ian Hasman Key in the bell tower
Six church bells have been rededicated marking the completion of an £80,000 scheme.
The Averham Bells Education and Restoration Project at St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Averham, involved extensive work to the church tower and restoration of the bells. A modern electronic drive system has been installed in the church clock and its three faces have been regilded.
The church was open on Saturday for tower tours and visitors could try bell-ringing. The bells date back to 1840.
The rededication service was conducted by retired priest Canon David Keene, who lives in the village.
Pupils from Manners Sutton Primary School, Averham, sang Ring Bells Ring.
Presentations were made to supporters and volunteers. The old bell clappers were mounted and presented to Staythorpe Power Station, Cargill plc and Chris Shardlow.
Mounted brass bearings, on which the bells were previously hung, were presented to Andy Taylor, of Staythorpe Power Station, Peter Hayward, of John Taylor and Co Bellhangers and Mick Exton, the diocesan bell adviser.
The idea for the project came from a meeting seven years ago when residents in Averham, Kelham and Staythorpe were asked what they wanted in their villages. One of the ideas was to set up a team of church bell-ringers.
Project leader Mr Martin Cooper said the bells had been out of tune and difficult to ring. He said the aim was to restore them to working order.
The work involved restoring and retuning the bells and installing a steel frame and fittings. CCTV has been installed so ringers can see the bells high in the tower as they ring them on the ground.
Staff at Staythorpe Power Station gave 500 volunteer hours to the project and students from Newark and Sherwood College were also heavily involved.
A Lottery grant of £30,000 helped towards the cost.
“We are extremely pleased with the end result,” said Mr Cooper.
The aim is now to recruit enough ringers so the bells can be heard on a regular basis.