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More activity in the tower

A defeated can of paint

Whenever I think that the job is done, another little task appears. This week the new muffles arrived and with them instructions that the clappers would have to be painted with non-slip paint. So once again Kevan Borlase and I set off for the tower - me to paint the clappers and Kev to strengthen the slapping boards. There had been much debate about the need for strengthening but he was determined to do it and that was that. But it turned out to be fortunate that he was in the tower.

The first job in painting the clappers was to stuff a bit of Blu Tack (other brands are available, no doubt) over each of the clapper striking points to ensure that they did not get painted. That's only twelve bits of Blu Tack but the stuff was incredibly difficult to attach. It was almost impossible to do it from the far side of the clapper which meant getting into each bell pit twice. It took ages and involved a great many bruises.

Meanwhile there was the issue of the paint tin. I had borrowed a community tin of paint - bought by Pillaton tower, used by St Dominic, loaned to Calstock. There is always a slight difficulty about opening any part-used can of paint, this one was no exception. I found it a challenge, so I asked Kev to give me a hand. In fact it took several hands, a couple of screw drivers, a pair of pliers and eventually a sharp pointed object, but he got there in the end. The only problem would be - how to get the lid on when I had finished with the paint!

The clapper painting did get done and the slapping boards were strengthened, but the real highlight of the day was the installation of a camera in the bell chamber relayed to a TV screen in the nave. Now, courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund, visitors to the church will be able to see exactly what it is that the ringers are trying to achieve.


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