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Bell Restoration Officer



TDGR Bell Restoration Fund Guidelines


One of the charitable aims of the Guild is promoting the installation, care, and restoration of rings of bells and their fittings. Since 1975 money has been raised to help any Parish within the Diocese with three or more bells hung for full circle ringing. The grant, along with practical support, aims to encourage Parishes with the restoration of bells so that they can be rung safely and easily. The trustees and members of the Standing Committee who administer the funds are aware that they are dealing with charitable money and have an obligation to see that it is spent wisely. They have therefore issued the following information:


Grants are awarded for work to bells, frames and fittings. Work to towers (except when linked to a bell project) is excluded.

Applications may be made for restoration work costing up to £75,000. Projects costing in excess of that figure may be considered on their merits. (added 12/18)

Applications for work costing £25,000 or less, net of recoverable VAT must be accompanied by a quotation from a bell hanger. Projects in excess of that sum must be accompanied by at least two quotations from bell hangers. (added 12/18)

The cost of professional fees (eg architect) is not grant eligible.

Other major grants, legacies and donations will be taken into account.

The Guild Bell Restoration Officer must be satisfied that the proposed work is necessary and will be the best solution.

The proposed work must be supported by the PCC.

A faculty, if necessary, for the proposed work should have been, or will be, obtained.

Where the applicant proposes that their restoration project is carried out by a person(s) or firm of engineers or builders (the contractor(s)) who are not bell hangers and that project does not require either a faculty or Rule B permissions, the grant form must be accompanied by a letter from the incumbent or chair of the PCC stating that the PCC is satisfied that the proposed contractor(s) is/are competent to carry out the work which is the subject of the grant application. Grants may be released upon written confirmation to the BRO that the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the incumbent and PCC. For the avoidance of doubt, neither the BRO nor TDGR accept any responsibility for work which is not carried out by a recognised bell hanger and the latter are responsible for their work. (added 4.3.19)

Provision should be made for future regular maintenance.

Grant awards remain valid for two years and are subject to a satisfactory final inspection.

Initial enquiries should be made to the Bell Restoration Officer. Applications are considered by the Standing Committee which usually meets in January, June and November. Grants are paid directly to the PCC on satisfactory completion of the project.



BRO from September 2019   

Sue McClaughry      smcclaughry@coronis.co.uk

Download Grant Application Form



Bell Restoration Officer’s Report 2018

for 2019 Guild AGM

This has been another busy year regarding bell restoration.

Week St Mary have had their clappers restored and re-bushed by John Taylors, with the transporting to Loughborough and work in the tower carried out locally by Owen and Kevin Borlase. The cost of the work was £2067.50 with a grant of £325.00.

St Clements also have had their clappers restored and re-bushed by Taylors. Here again the work at the tower was carried out by Owen and Kevin. The transporting and work at Loughborough and in the tower came to £2360 hence a grant of £375.00. Both towers have now been signed off as grants have been received.

Lelant have had a complete restoration of their bell-frame and fittings, which also included the foundation girders supporting the bell-frame. This work has been carried out by John Taylors at Loughborough, with the building work carried out by Chris Venn. The cost of the work came to £39,939 + VAT, and this incurred a grant of £6000 which was paid on completion of the work and the tower has also been signed off.

Lanivet had their 7th bell cracked, and this was sent to John Taylors where it was recast by them. When completed the bell was returned to the tower and rehung. No other work was needed in the tower. The cost of the work came to £16,765.20 resulting in a grant of £2525. With all work completed the grant has been paid and the cheque presented to them by Annie our president at a service of rededication presided over by Bishop Chris. The tower has now been signed off.

St Austell have had work completed on their clappers, bearings and rope pulleys. The clappers have all been overhauled and re-bushed. All the bearings were removed, completely stripped down and serviced. The rope pulleys have all been renewed and extra pulleys installed through clock access steps. Also an extra rope guide was put on the treble rope in the clock chamber. This work was carried out by Nicholsons and the cost was £11,423 + VAT, and therefore a grant of £1725, which has been received. This work has also been signed off.Callington have had work completed on RSJ girder ends which support their bell frame. The rusted areas were cut back to allow new steel plates to be welded in place. The ends were re-grouted with slight build out to prevent further water ingress. This work was carried out by John Taylors. The cost of the work amounted to £2650 + VAT, hence a grant of £400 which has been paid. Again I have been able to sign them off as work has been completed.

Calstock bells are now at John Taylors foundry where they are undergoing restoration to mainly the fittings, rehang the bells on new cast iron headstocks and turn as required, remove any cast-in crownstaples, fit new clappers and fit new bearings and bearing housings. The frame is to be cleaned down thoroughly and treated with rust inhibitor and repainted with high grade durable paint. Also the wheels are to be refurbished and runner boards and stays replaced. The cost will be £41,825 with a grant amounting to £6275 when completed.

St Hilary’s bells are also at Taylors foundry where the bells are to be retuned, and provided with a full set of ringing fittings for all six bells. There will also need to be some work carried out on the frame. Chris Venn is to carry out any building work in the tower making ready for the return of the installation. The cost of the work will amount to £49,803 + VAT, and this will involve a grant of £7500.

Zennor are to have their bells, frame and fittings restored by John Taylors. The bells themselves are to be retuned and restored. The bell fittings also are to be restored and old timber fittings replaced. The headstocks and wheels also need restoring. The frame is to be rebuilt on new galvanised grillage of universal beam girders in such a way as to strengthen the tower and spread dynamic load of swinging bells. The cost of this work comes to £53,460 thus a grant of £7500.

St Ewe are in need of major restoration particularly to the frame and fittings. The frame needs to be rebuilt using new galvanised and painted steelwork. All old supports for frame and lifting point at base of spire are to be removed and replaced. For the fittings provide new bearing in housing, cleaned with hardwood rollers, new stays and sliders, bell support bolts with isolation washers, bearings and seals. The clappers need refurbishing and re-bushing and ground to shape. The bells could be eighth turned, rebalanced and re-drilled now so that in future they could be turned twice in the tower without the need to remove them. New rope guides also are needed. Also a brand new set of bell ropes will be needed. Nicholsons are the preferred contractors alongside Ships Carpentry who are to remove the old bell chamber floor and construct an oak floor in its place. They are also to carry out all the preparation work inside the tower making ready for the return of the bells, frame and fittings. This will include work on the louvres and all additional work needed to be carried out. This will include scaffolding etc.The cost of this large project will be Nicholsons £46,470 +VAT, and Ships Carpentry £21,996 + VAT. This gives a total of £68,466.. This will give a grant of £10,275 which will be our largest grant application approved.

I have sent off grant application forms to both Kenwyn and St Cleer who both are expected to have projects at some time soon.

Finally I am standing down as BRO at the June Standing Committee meeting. I feel now is the right time after nearly six years to let someone else take over. I have enjoyed the work involved and hope that the new person will follow on in the footsteps of the last three of us that have been BRO.

John Davis