Belfry maintenance at Holy Trinity, Melrose

Click on any picture to enlarge. Click on the picture again to minimise.

We fully rebuilt this bell mechanism in 2007. If you are interested in that contract, you can find it here – Holy Trinity Church – Belfry Restoration

It was needing the bushes cleaned and re-greased, and all the metal and timber components needed fully painted. That’s what this contract achieved.

Here you can see the first of the two bushes immediately after it was opened up. The grease has dried out and everything looks dirty and uncared for.

Another shot of the dirty bushes.

And another. By this time the bell axles were lifted up and out of the bushes.

The entire mechanism has now been lifted clear of the bushes. It’s not yet out of the belfry though – and it needs to be.

Now the entire mechanism has been manoeuvred out onto the outer face of the belfry. In this position it can be moved around as needed to allow preparation and painting of all surfaces. It also gets it fully out of the way of the bushes, making it easier to work on them.

Note the wire brush sitting on one of the bell wheel spokes. All of the metalwork, and all of the timber, was well prepared before painting commenced.

Cleaning the bushes.

Cleaning the top caps of the bushes.

Getting the first coat onto the metal components. The undercoat used here is red oxide, an excellent and traditional metal priming paint.

Looking right through the belfry from the ladders side.

Starting the first coat of black topcoat. I had specified two coats but since I had time to spare it ended up getting three.

Painting continuing.

Copper grease.

A bush stuffed with copper grease, ready for the bell mechanism to be lowered back into position.

Axle sitting back down into the bush. Note the grease that’s been squeezed up and out as a result.

These are the bolts that hold the bush caps on. Note that they are heavily greased.

Bush caps stuffed with copper grease.

Bush cap bolted back down (after a whole lot of excess grease had been cleaned up).

Everything now in place – fully cleaned, fully greased, and fully painted.

Another shot – more of a close up.

Trade skills at height. All Scotland covered.