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Removing the bells: Day 1

Teamwork to remove sally jugs

The home team, made up of Kevan Borlase with Sue and Patrick McClaughry, arrived at the church well before Taylor's, but then we did have the advantage of living nearby. On the way to the church we had collected a pallet truck, loaned by Kernock Park Plants, so we were well set up for the day ahead.

We spread chipboard sheets over the tiled floor, removed the sally jugs from the rope guide and loosened a few more bolts on the bell frame. By then it was definitely time for a break. The pallets, which had been delivered by Steve Alford on Friday, were put to good use as a temporary coffee table.

Calstock Tenor on wood supports in the bell chamber

Next to arrive was Mike Erith and a little later, the serious team in the form of Kit Bardsley and Andrew Mills from John Taylor & Co with Owen Borlase were all on site. We could now start doing some of the heavier work. A great deal of equipment was taken up the tower; there was much rattling of chains and probably grinding of teeth and eventually the tenor was lifted out of its pit and propped on wood supports over the no. 4 and no. 5 bells.

Next came the No. 2 bell. She was lifted out and pushed to one side, propped up over the bells on the west side of the chamber. The floor was then clear to remove the lower parts of the bell frame and make space to open the hatch tomorrow morning.


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