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Belfry News October 2020

Belfry News from.....Fulney!?

Some seven depressing months ago when ringing came to cease
And towers all around just offered wrong chiming and peace,
Myself and Tony Walker and dear John Bennett as well
Decided to at least check on the lovely Gedney bells.
We did some routine maintenance, we heaved the clappers tight.
John Bennett climbed the bell frame in a flash of blazing light!
Like a pianist in action his fingers worked upon the ropes,
He pulled up some several inches and achieved his crowning hope!
We finished off our works and while we wished to test the bells
The churchwardens were worried we may summon Covid hell!
Myself and A D Walker after went to Gedney Hill
And undertook the same routine which offered just a tad more thrill;
We DID test the bells here, our first ring in quite a while.
Never has ringing up then down given me such a beaming smile!
We then went to Tydd St Mary which didn't need much work at all
And began to chat with John about a long planned, put off call.

It must have been a year ago we all expressed a need to know
What makes the bells "Unringable" at Fulney, standing red and tall.
Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott this building really has the lot!
A roof which still retains it's lead, the grand arched windows, bricks of red.
So long as one just stands and stares they will see features everywhere!
But most of all what really strikes, what really is the point of might,
A stunning red-grey epic tower which sadly didn't read the hour!
It really is a sight so grand, I've yet to find a point that's bland!
John soon arranged with their Churchwarden, the very lovely Mary Simpson
If we could go and look inside and find out why their voice had died.
First we reached the ringing chamber, like the day 'twas left I wager.
Nature and weather both refrained from making any chamber claim!
Next the clock room, where John stayed and using insight, brawn and brain
He yanked and cranked and wound, then spent, had pulled the clock from retirement.
Myself and Tony, ever eager, made our way to the Bell Chamber.
The first item of note we saw did really leave us in some awe.
Some nitwit fairly long ago had felt inclined to have a go
At swinging on the Tenor rope and clearly gave a mighty grope
For nestled underneath the bell, the chiming hammer, resting well!
Our first task found we set about to get this bloody hammer out!
We pushed and pushed, then pushed some more upon the bell till we were sore!
We got it free, we tied it back and someday soon 'twill once more whack!
The next thing that required attention was two foot of twig retention.
The Ringing Room was free from nature, the Belfry was a different creature!
At least a decade (probably more) of Jackdaw's use as nesting store!
Unfortunately (not for me!) I was due a holiday
And while in Wales I played and rest, dear Tony proved to be the best
At shoving somewhere near a ton of ancient twigs down hatch for fun!
John in the clock room bagged them up until the dust became too much!
He could breathe fine, he had a mask, the dust was just making things dark!
Anyhow they got it done and my, the difference really stunned!
A beautiful lead floor with beams of oak as big you've ever seen.
Job number two was now complete and things began to look more neat.
The next job was to mend the wheels, they'd clearly suffered many ills.
Armed with a trusty nail gun I fastened shrouding one by one
While Tony painstakingly fixed a Tenor spoke which was in bits.
As we got on with fixing wheels John improved ropes, fit for a peal!
A special mention must be made for John's dear wife, Rita's her name,
For giving all the ropes a wash, the sallies fluffed and tails soft!
Next up came all the metal work, well weathered, yes, with rust and dirt!
But with an angle grinder brush we soon removed the stubborn rust
And found a gleaming silver frame as good as the first day it came!
Among these jobs there have been more, like hoovering all of the floors,
The wiping down, the varnishing, graunching bolts and frame painting.
For all the toil it has been we're glad to have restored this ring
And gleefully announce today that Taylors have grant their "Okay"
For frame and bells, ready to sing, another reinstated ring!
While works go on to improve more we hope to soon open the door
So when this dreadful Covid's "gone" folk can come by and make bell song!

How the church came to be and the bells.
The benefactress of this church paid thirty thousand for the work
Including Vicarage, Church and School, a bargain really for this jewel!
Her name was Charlotte Charinton, a most munificent woman.
The bells were made by T.C Lewis, yet Organ Building was what he did.
Nevertheless, he did quite well, besides the first two treble bells
Which were recast by Taylors soon after they started ringing tunes!

Luke Tobin