WESTHIDE CHURCH BELL FUND
Westhide is a hamlet 5 miles east of Hereford. It has a population of 80 souls, and its only public building is its Church.
St Bartholomews dates from 1200. It has a square bell tower with three bells currently in an unringable state. Two of the bells were made by Henry Clibury of Wellington, Salop, in 1674, and the third by John Warner of London in 1880. They hang in a medieval oak frame modified over the years to enable the bells to be rung full circle.
The object of the Church Bell Fund is to get the bells into safe ringable condition once more. We are advised by Roy Williams (the Diocesan bells advisor) and by Andrew Nicholson of Nicholson Engineering of Bridport, Dorset, (who will be our main contractor) that the bells should be rehung for static chiming rather than for full circle ringing. They also advise that the cast-in "crown Staples" should be removed, and thus eliminate the most likely cause of cracking.
Work will also include repairs to the tower roof and lead work, to straighten the weather vane and regild the cockerel !!
We estimate the total cost of these works will be £15,000 + VAT – we would hope to be able to reclaim the VAT.
The fund has already raised £900 and we have further fund-raising events planned. We shall be approaching a number of grant-giving bodies for financial support.
Timescale – we hope to be able to "ring out" our restored bells in the autumn of 2010.
The fund and the proposed works are fully supported by our local community and we have Diocesan approval in the form of a faculty.
Our Church is well supported considering the size of our community. We hold in the Church a concert, a week-long art exhibition, as well as our Harvest Supper and regular worship services.
If you are able to help us in any way, please contact our co-ordinator:
The Glebe, Westhide, Herefordshire HR1 3RQ