Fund raising for Kingskerswell bells

Thanks to Philip Stevens for this update
At last the full restoration of our bells is going ahead. Progress has been very prolonged as the bells form just part of a major reordering of the church. The faculty for all the work was granted last year, and all the details have now been finalised. The work being undertaken in Phase 1 is:-
a) Rehanging the bells in a new frame, tuning 3 of the bells and augmenting to 8 with 2 new trebles.
b) Automation of the clock
c) Constructing a new mezzanine ringing chamber lower in the tower, which will give us so much more space as we will not have the clock and the weights case to contend with, and the balcony will extend through the tower arch and a further 1 metre into the church.
d) Re-open the bottom of the staircase to connect from the inside of the church to the existing exterior entrance to the tower.
e) Make an entrance from the stairs to the new ringing chamber.
f) Construct a new kitchen in the base of the tower.
g) Construct a new toilet in the space between the south side of the tower and the west end of the south isle.

Phase 2 includes removal of the pews, a new heating system, new lighting, and relocation of the vestry and font.
An order has been placed with Nicholson Engineering for rehanging and augmenting the bells, and work in the tower is scheduled to begin at the beginning of April. The bells will be out of action for about 6 months. A grant from the Devon Bell Restoration Fund has been approved.

Although there are sufficient funds for Phase 1 to go ahead, a substantial amount still needs to be raised for the bell restoration. Fund raising will be undertaken over the next few months, and any donations to our bell fund will be very gratefully received. Donations can be made to the "Friends of Kingskerswell Church" c/o Philip Stevens, 22 Priory Avenue, Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot, TQ12 5AQ

A scheme we have started, is to give away free tubes of Smarties with the request that they be filled with 20p coins (or £1 coins for that matter!). If anybody would like some free smarties, either for individual use or for collection in the tower, please get in touch.

Philip Stevens
Those of us who have been around this branch for some time will remember when this was a "silent" tower. To get from there to the prospect of a "new" ring of 8 in pleasant surroundings is a marvellous achievement and we wish them all the very best with this exciting scheme.