Tower Master's Report to St. Julian's Church, Wellow APCM for Sunday 28th March 2004

Another year where we have welcomed new ringers and sadly lost others.

We welcomed Katie and Lauren in the latter part of 2003 but unfortunately, due to school and home commitments, they have had to take what we hope is a temporary break. In their time with us they progressed very well to the point where they were ringing in rounds. Also we welcomed Nigel and progressed him to ringing a bell on his own but again due to family commitments has had to curtail further ringing for the time being.

We were sorry to see Jill Oatley leave our tower due to her sudden move from Wellow. Jill had taken up ringing, for the first time last year, following her retirement and had shown good progress. Sadly Sue Wilford has had to take a break from ringing due to illness and we continue to pray for her recovery and look forward to her return in due course. Janet has been unable to be with us much this year due to work and family commitments but assures me she will return soon and hopes to bring her nephew to ring as well.

John and Peggy Fray continue to provide expert tutoring and we are truly indebted to them for their time and patience in coaxing us as a band of ringers capable of ringing Plain Bob Doubles. We are forever grateful to Father Brian for his good humour and continued encouragement and cajoling of the band toward greater things.

Of course our thanks goes to Gordon and Geoff for their stalwart work as Tower Keepers and particularly this year for arranging the manufacture, supply and for physically installing the new tenor clapper on the 17th October 2003 to replace the old which sheared whilst ringing in the summer. Well done.

Our thanks also goes to Bert Fulton for saddle soaping the old leather muffles back from certain death and to Jill and Pam for taking on the project of hand weaving new rope mats for the Tower.

On the 20th December Jill & Colin Tremellen hosted a wonderful festive party for the bellringers and their partners where a great time of fellowship was coupled with equally delicious fayre. A delightful conclusion to another thoroughly enjoyable year.

A finally a big thank you to Clover for her treasurership and Jill for secretarial duties without which we would be in chaos. And, finally a thank you to all the ringers for their diligence and good humour which goes to create what I feel must be one of the happiest Towers in the branch, if not the country!

Towerkeeper's Report

The most significant event of the year was the fracture of the tenor clapper in July. This was the second fracture in two years; wrought iron clappers are made by forging in two parts and then these are welded together, the weld will always be the weak point. Our clapper had several polished faces, made where the hammer strikes the bell, indicating that the clapper had fractured and been repaired several times in its life. The metal had become fatigued and it was time to replace with new. The modern material now used is SG cast iron and the new pattern requires a complete replacement of pin, staple and draw bolt. The usual practice is to return all the old components for the maker to obtain the sizes. To save the carriage to and from London, Whitechapel Foundry agreed to work from dimensions taken by us. The new clapper cost £973.18 and was installed on 17th October 2003.

In the spring of 2003 the bell chamber was swept and tidied. Clappers for bells 2&3 began to show signs of sticking and not swinging freely. No lubrication is required with the nylon bearings but it was found that, possibly many years ago, grease had been introduced causing the nylon to swell. This was flushed out and the pins polished, over the years the nylon should shrink back to its original size.

The very hot summer weather dried the oak beams that hold the chiming hammers, this slackened the bolts such that bell 5, when swinging, just kissed its hammer. A general tightening up all round was made.

In October there was a Diocesan inspection, Mr Jim Taylor inspected the tower as well as the bells. On the day previous to the inspection the whole chamber/frame was swept clean of dust and cobwebs. Jill swept and dusted the ringing chamber and the stairs.

As far as the bells are concerned the only fault that Jim Taylor highlights is the slackness of the small wooden pulleys guiding the ropes. There are possibly 18+ of these, it is hoped to refurbish them with proprietary bushes in the coming months. The other recommendations in Jim Taylor's report are for the PCC to consider. The response to them has already been made, but a copy is included here.

Geoff Pike and Gordon Hewlett.

Notable events throughout 2003

All in all a very enjoyable year especially considering that we met the £973.18 cost of the replacement of the tenor clapper, paid our £60 B&WDACR annual subscriptions and are still fortunate to have accumulated a surplus of £303.34 (including tax to be reclaimed). This money has been raised mainly through our £1 per night practice subscription and the very generous donations of the villagers of Wellow.


Tower Master - Richard Holland

Ringing Tutors - John & Peggy Fray, Brian Sutton

Tower Keepers - Gordon Hewlett & Geoff Pike

Treasurer - Clover Holland

Secretary - Jill Tremellen

Membership of Bath & Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers

The following are currently paid up (£6) members associated to Wellow Tower:

Other and/or occasional Ringers at Wellow

Sunday Service Ringing

Ringing to continue for 11.15am services but miss the 9.30am third Sunday as before.

Practice Night

Friday evenings 7.30pm to 9.00pm.

Projects for 2004

Ringing Tour for 2004

Suggested destination is around the north Somerset area near West Camel and West Lydford. The proposed date being either Saturday 19th or 12th June.

Richard Holland

Tower Master, St. Julian's Church, Wellow

5th March 2004