June 2018 is something of a landmark month in the life of the bells at Exeter Cathedral, and particularly for the fourteen housed in the south tower (the second heaviest peal in the world, after Liverpool Cathedral).
We are about to begin a period of planned maintenance and repair work, with help from John Taylor & Co. in Loughborough. They have a long and distinguished history of casting, maintaining and conserving bells all over the world, and their team will be on site during the week commencing 18th June as work begins.
The project will see the bell fittings dismantled, with the front six and semitone bell clappers, some of the pulley boxes, and the smallest headstocks, all being removed and transported to Taylor’s foundry in Loughborough for repair.
The work schedule will continue in July when a crane is hired to raise the new steelwork into the South Tower, before the metal frame is cleaned and painted in August. Only then will the bells be restored and ready to ring again in September.
As a result, the bells here at Exeter Cathedral rang for the last time on Sunday 17th June. Sunday morning ringing will still take place, but to a different sound. On the first three Sunday mornings of each month, you will hear the six bells of nearby St Petrock’s Church calling you to worship.