The transformation from dark green to grey took more than a week - somewhere in the region of twenty to twenty five working days. During that time we used sandpaper, wire brushes, electric rotary brushes, half a litre of Fertan, lots of water, three tins of red oxide paint, more wire brushes, more water, more red oxide and finally four tins of rust blocking polyurethane enamel paint.
Seven volunteers squeezed into inaccessible spaces, first preparing and then painting the obvious and the less obvious parts of the bell frame. They worked their way through disposable masks, plastic gloves, latex gloves (lots of latex gloves), paint brushes (around a dozen destroyed or irrevocably damaged), old plastic milk bottles, white spirit and one vacuum cleaner (now destined for the dump). Overalls were washed and rewashed, the dirt may come off but the oil based paints are permanent. Streaks of paint now adorn faces, hands and arms; those of us that were not previously grey haired certainly are now.
Very hard work but lots of fun. Would we do it again? Not for an awfully long time.
Thanks to all those who helped - Julian Clinkard, Robin Clowes, Jane Weatherby, Karen and Paul Alderton, Patrick McClaughry.