On Sunday 10 September the village church of St John the Baptist, Buckhorn Weston was packed with villagers for the official launch of the restoration appeal for the bells.
The bells stopped being rung sometime in the mid 1970s and became classified as unringable. In 2009 a renovation appeal was launched for the church fabric (roof, windows, internal painting etc.) after which, as stage 4, came the restoration of the bells. It is this final stage of fundraising that was launched on Sunday.
Some preliminary restoration work (Matthew Higby and Julian Ferrar) had made the bells ringable (but not easy!) and there was a session of open ringing to precede a quarter peal.
The campaign is being spearheaded by church Treasurer Pat Read who wrote afterwards:
“Thank you so much for your support with this event. With donations received beforehand and today’s monies we have a total of £2753.33 which is a brilliant result. I can’t thank you enough for turning out today on what was not the nicest of days. This will boost the bells restoration fund and get us off to a flying start.”
Ringing on the bells will be restricted until after the full restoration. Plans have already been made to recruit villagers to ring the bells and expressions of interest were received on Sunday.
Guild Publicity Officer, Salisbury DG