Easter Bell back at the minster

HEAVE HO: The Easter bell is lifted up the minster tower.
HEAVE HO: The Easter bell is lifted up the minster tower.

The congregation at Dewsbury Minster has welcomed the return of the Easter Bell.

The important piece of equipment was brought back to the church last Tuesday when honorary curate, the Rev Elizabeth Lee, baptised and blessed the bell.

A team of local volunteers, lead by David Pygott of Taylor’s Bellfounders, Loughborough, worked very hard for five hours to lift the 300kg bell 17 metres up the tower.

They started in the rain, unloading the bell from the van, manhandling it into church, moving the lifting equipment up the 62 steps, winching the bell upwards before threading it past the tenor bell into the bell frame. The team then returned the equipment to the van, ending a physically tough day for all.

A spokesman at the minster said: “After finding the bell badly cracked in April, and with a ballpark cost estimate of £10,000, fundraising was started. A quotation of £8,500 from Taylors was accepted.

“Work progressed to match the donations, with the removal in June, expert welding by Mark Strupczewski of Soundweld in Suffolk, balancing by Taylors in Loghborough, and finally re-installation into the tower – just in time for our World War One centenary commemorations.

“Our fundraising has managed to pay all the bills so far.

“However, there is still further work to do to bring the whole peal of bells up to the musical quality of the newly repaired Easter Bell. That work will cost around £2,500.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped out or who has contributed to the cost of the bell.”