The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells is a UK registered charity in its own right (registration number 278816) whose members are the members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. The Fund is administered by a Committee consisting of the members for the time being of the Central Council Committee for Redundant Bells who shall be the Trustees of the Fund. An annual meeting of the members of the Fund is held at the annual meeting of the Central Council which the President for the time being of the Central Council is invited to chair.
The Fund was set up on the initiative of the Redundant Bells Committee in 1979 to provide finance (raised by loans from Ringers) to rescue any ring of bells or single bells at risk of loss or destruction. Besides actually raising money and acquiring rings of bells (or the control of them) for re-use elsewhere the availability of the Fund has on occasions enabled a scheme to go ahead without the Fund having to put in cash. The assurance that it could, if necessary, provide funds has given sufficient guarantee to facilitate successful schemes.
Accordingly in one way or another the Fund has had involvement in the following:
- From Blackburn, Holy Trinity to Blackburn, St Silas (8)
- From Feltham, St Catherine to Guernsey, St Pierre du Bois (10)
- From Leicester, St John the Divine to Peterborough Cathedral (10)
- From Widnes to the intended re-use at Stoney Cross (6) (and now to be rehoused again)
- From Ealing, St Stephen to Aberdeen, Cathedral of St Machar (8)
- From a scrap yard in Dundee to Brisbane, Australia, Cathedral (6)
- From Kirkheaton to St Clements Sandwich (8)
- From Todmorden, Christchurch to Towcester (8)
- From Shrewsbury, St Alkmund to Honolulu Cathedral (8)
- From Birmingham, St Martin to Escrick, N Yorkshire, St Helen (12)
- From Dunecht House to Haddington, Scotland, St Mary (8)
Initially the Fund has had the principal objective to save rings of bells that are totally redundant at its location from being lost altogether. More recently it has been a case of saving a ring of bells that would otherwise have been re-cast to provide a new ring of bells for the Parish Church. This development has had the merit of enabling the church concerned to have its new ring of bells but ensuring that the original castings are saved for a new lease of use elsewhere.
The Fund has become keen to assist in bell restoration schemes to ensure re-use of existing castings rather than the metal being used in re-casting.
This arrangement has been pioneered by the Keltek Trust and the Fund has been keen to work with the Trust to ensure maximum success. Schemes presently in hand (November 2007) are:
- the re-use of bells from Liverpool, Highfield to provide a new ring of six at Wickersley, S Yorkshire, St Alban
- the re-use of bells from the redundant chime at Birmingham, Cradley Heath to provide a new ring of bells at Birmingham, St Mary, Moseley
- and also, notably, the re-use of the ring of eight bells from Northampton, All Saints (now replaced by a new ring of ten) possibly in Western Australia.
Anyone who would be willing to assist in this work by offering an interest free loan to be taken up if required will be much welcomed.
Enquiries should please be made to Helen Webb the Fund’s Treasurer (email).