The Easter Bell is back at Dewsbury Minster, following fundraising and repair.
Honorary Curate the Rev Elizabeth Lee baptised and blessed the bell, which had been found to be badly cracked in April, with ballpark cost estimates of £10,000.
Fundraising was started and a price quotation for repair of £8,500 from Taylor’s of Loughborough was accepted.
Work progressed to match the donations, with removal in June, expert welding by Mark Strupczewski of Soundweld in Suffolk, balancing by Taylor’s, and finally re-installation into the tower, just in time for the World War One centenary commemorations featured elsewhere in this edition.
A team of local volunteers, led by David Pygott of Taylor’s, worked very hard for five hours to lift the 300kg bell 17 metres up the tower. Starting outside 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 and delicately threading it past the tenor bell into the bell-frame, followed by returning all the equipment to the van, was a physically tough day for all.
Fundraising has managed to pay all the bills so far but 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 and local volunteers have reduced the cost by £750. Thanks go out to everyone who has helped.