The Journey

Earlier in 2022, we realised something was not right with our treble bell as it was sounding dull and we spotted what we thought was a hairline crack. Below is our journey to date.

Confirmation we had a crack in the bell

In March 2022, our local expert Bell Hanger, Neil Thomas came and inspected the bell. He sprayed the bell with a dye and as a result, we could see the extent of the crack. The crack measures 74 cm long (the overall diameter of the bell is 127 cm, so the crack is approximately 60% of the circumference of the bell). After finding this we strapped the bell up, and the ringing rope was removed, to prevent it from being rung so that no further damage was done to the bell and any risk of the bell dropping was removed.

Selecting a bell founder

With the advice from Neil Thomas, we approached three bell hangers, and through a tendering process, we selected Matthew Higby & Company Ltd of Somerset to undertake the work of removing the old bell, casting a new bell, tuning it, and returning it to the tower.

Inscription of the new bell

The old bell has an inscription on it ‘PHILIPPUS EDUARDUS SEWELL FILIUS ME DEDIT 1910‘, which translates to ‘Phillip Edward Sewell son gave me 1910′ (Phillip Sewell’s aunt was Anna Sewell, who wrote the book “Black Beauty“, published by Jarrold & Sons on 24th November 1877).

We decided that the new bell should also have an inscription on it that reflected its time of creation and addition to the tower. Following discussions with the current ringers and the church, we decided to link the inscription to The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Following consultation with the Lord-Lieutenant (Lady Dannatt, MBE) and the Lord Chamberlain’s Office. In July 2022, we received approval from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and the following wording will be inscribed on the new bell.

This bell was cast to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of her majesty the Queen‘ along with the Platinum Jubilee logo.

We believe this bell will be the only new bell in the United Kingdom cast and hung during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Bell Removal

The existing treble bell was lowered from the tower on 5th September and was placed in the nave of the church for visitors to see on Saturday 10th September when we are holding a community day called ‘Buxton Bell Day‘. The church will be open on this day for people to visit and learn more about our bells and bell ringing.

On Friday 16th September the bell made its last journey out of the church to the workshop where we hope the inscription ‘PHILIPPUS EDUARDUS SEWELL FILIUS ME DEDIT 1910‘ will be able to be cut out and preserved and placed in the church as a lasting memory of this bell which has served Buxton for 112 years.

Our New Treble Bell

The New Treble bell was cast between 24th -27th November 2022 the first picture (left) below shows the bell before it was cleaned, and the second image (right) received on the 5th December shows the bell cleaned. As you will see the Platinum Jubilee Logo and inscription have come out very clearly. It will still be a few weeks before the bell arrives in the united kingdom for Matthew Higby & Company Ltd of Somerset to undertake the final work on the bell before it finally arrives at Buxton.

Supporters of the Platinum Jubilee Bell

The following people and organisations have very generously supported the project to enable us to have a new bell installed at Buxton.