Archived News 2014

11 December 2014

We spent the morning decorating the Bellringers' tree for the Stoke Fleming Christmas Tree Festival.  The theme for our tree is "Money for Old Rope".  This is one of some 30 trees decorated by societies and organisations in the Village and displayed in St Peter's church from 12 to 14 December.  All donations received are divided between church funds and a local charity - this year the Dartmouth Swimming Pool.

31 October 2014

We now have the drawings from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry showing the new frame and the layout of the bell-chamber after the work has been done.  John has been going around with tape measure and chalk marking where the new ropes will fall in the ringing chamber and around the clock.  Suddenly the project is starting to take shape.

The next stage is for the Architect to produce drawings of how the frame will be incorporated in the tower and obtain builders' estimates for the work.

14 October 2014

On-line Donations

Our on-line donation service through BT MyDonate is now active.  See the How to Donate page.  Please spread the word amongst your friends.


If you would like to set up your own fundrasing event in aid of St Peter's Tower Fund (a sponsored walk for example) this can be done through our MyDonate account as well.


Very many thanks for your donations.



11 August 2014

Asbestos Survey

Good news. Some men came today to check for asbestos in the church and tower.  We await the results of their testing, but don't believe they have found anything of great concern.   Although it would seem that there is a small amount of asbestos in the tower it is of the non lethal type, in other words you don’t require a specialist contractor with all that entails, a normal builder can remove it, but it has to be kept separate and declared at the tip as asbestos waste.  


2 August 2014

Tower Open Day

The tower open day gave everyone the chance to learn all about Church Bells and ringing.  It was a great success thanks to the many people who put in so much time to make it happen.

Over 250 people visited the exhibition in a 6 hour period.  The tower tours were very popular but, because of the need to control numbers, only 80 people were able to see the bells, our  fine Victorian Clock and the magnificent view from the top of the 83 foot tower.

There were attractions for all ages including a mini ring, a treasure hunt and a "colour the bell" competition for the youngsters, delicious cakes and cream teas, and a very comprehensive and informative set of displays and information boards about the history of bell ringing, the local ringers, the bells and the clock.

This was a great day out enjoyed by all which raised nearly £900 for the tower restoration fund.  We were very pleased that so many people, locals and visiting tourists, came to learn about bell ringing and the significance of our heritage project.  Everyone who visited was very complimentary about the activities and displays. 

For more photos of the event see our Photo Gallery

29 July 2014


We had to lift the lino in the ringing chamber so that the Architect and Structural Engineer could look under the floorboards to establish the location and condition of the floor supports. 

The good news is that the steel girders appear to be in good condition, the bad news is that the 2 nearest the centreline are too close together and some modifications will be required to allow the bells to pass between them as they are lowered down the tower.

The joists which rest on these girders and support the ringing chamber floor have been attacked by beetle and will need to be replaced during the project.  This is only a minor problem when compared to the scale of the project as a whole.

On the whole we are not too dispirited by these findings.  Bearing in mind the age of the building it could have been a lot worse.


25 July 2014

Message in a bottle. This morning Peter and Richard went up to the Tower to remove the Lino from the Ringing Chamber so that next week the architect can take a look under the floor. A small trap door was exposed. They looked into the space between the floors to check the condition of the supporting girders and noticed an old bottle hanging by wires from 2 nails in the wooden joists. It is sealed and inside is a piece of paper with neat handwriting. We are seeking conservation advice on what to do next. We also recovered another bottle seen previously in a hidden cupboard. Again we didn't open it but we believe it also has a message in it dated 1925.

23 July 2014

We have had an encouraging response from the Heritage Lottery Fund to our pre-application form for a Grant towards the Renovation Project.  There is plenty of work still to do on this, and quite a lot of supporting documentation needs to be collected together, but at this stage the signs are promising.  See the page on Fundraising to see how much money has been pledged so far towards this project.

18 July 2014

The Dartmouth Chronicle printed an excellent article about the Renovation Project today.  Their reporter, Karen Perrow, visited the tower and we gave her the full tour.  She seemed duly impressed!