St Mary’s Belfry Restoration – complete!
After 38 days and over 700 man hours the St Mary’s belfry restoration saw completion on Tuesday 22nd July. During this time the frame and headstocks were thoroughly de-rusted, cleaned and repainted with two coats of paint; a zinc phosphate primer (to protect the frame from future rusting) and a machine enamel top coat (to protect the zinc primer). The bell wheels were also all treated with a wood treatment and all the nuts and bolts de-rusted, and the sound control platform which sits above the bells was completed and an electrical system installed so that the doors can be opened and closed from the ringing chamber.
The final result is a belfry that both looks fantastic and smart, but also one that is now protected from rusting, meaning the bells can be rung for many years to come.
Photos before starting work…
Photos of the belfry now…
Sound control operation panel installed in the ringing room with light indicators to show the status of the sound control
Huge thanks go to all those who helped at any point during the project, and from the fire register it was seen that pretty much all of the local band helped at some point during the project. Special thanks must go especially to Kristian Scudamore and Philip Moyse who both helped hugely during the project, both giving hundreds of hours of their own free time to help make the project the huge success it has been.
Having been required to keep a fire register each day during the project, a report was easily created to show the total number of hours people gave to the project, and for interest these are shown below;
Kristian 218:16 Daniel 206:22 Phil 159:03 Charlie 39:03 Alice 15:09 Colin B 12:40 Sally 11:45 Helena 9:45 Adam 8:50 Lizzie 6:30 Edd 6:30 Anita 6:00 Colin L 5:07
And from all this data together it is seen that a total of 705 man hours made this project happen! A small section of the restored frame now displays the names of all those who helped with the project;
Next time you are ringing at St Mary’s Southampton don’t forget to ask to go up and see the new restored belfry, I’m sure you’ll be impressed!!
Daniel (Steeple Keeper)