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Published on July 13th, 2014 | by Bill Dargue

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Castle Bromwich Bell Restoration Project 

Castle Bromwich No.3 bell in the upright position – ready to ring!

1717 – 2017 Celebrating 300 years

by Stuart Stanton & Jean Willis

The present bells at Castle Bromwich were re-cast in 1952 from earlier bells, and still contain the metal from the bells that hung in 1717 and in 1725 when the church was re-modelled. These bells have been calling the people of Castle Bromwich to worship for nearly 300 years and although they have a beautiful tone, they are in desperate need of refurbishment.

In 1952, there was a maintenance project undertaken to rectify some of the problems that became apparent with some of the bell castings and fittings. Gillett & Johnston Bell Founders carried out the project and, to keep the contract price low, this was done by using a mixture of old and new parts of the bell frame and other pieces of the bell mechanics. Some parts of the frame and fittings were just modified to make them ‘work’ – they are now in danger of failing and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, the “make do and mend” workmanship carried out 61 years ago has resulted in the need for major work to be carried out. Investigations are being carried out to assess the amount of work required and to assess the possibility of adding two extra bells, making a full ring of eight bells.

We are proud of our history of bell ringing in Castle Bromwich and would like the refurbishment to be our legacy to the church. It would be a great pity for the voice of St Mary & St Margaret’s to fall silent. We look forward to commemorating 2017 as the 300th anniversary of the bells being rung in their present form in Castle Bromwich and hope that we will be able to celebrate with our newly refurbished bells!

Find out more about the Castle Bromwich Bell Restoration Project on the bellringers’ website – cbbells.webs.com.

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About the Author

Bill Dargue has been ringing the bells of St Mary & St Margaret's church in Castle Bromwich for over 30 years. He's one of the Castle Bromwich Bell Restoration Project trustees (Registered Charity 1155131) aiming to celebrate the tercentenary of the bell installation by setting the bells in good order for the next 300 years.



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