News

Bells off to the old dart

UP AND AWAY: A team of workers used a crane to remove the 125-year-old bells from St Paul’s Anglican Church so they could be sent for repair in England.
UP AND AWAY: A team of workers used a crane to remove the 125-year-old bells from St Paul’s Anglican Church so they could be sent for repair in England. Valerie Horton

MARYBOROUGH will be a much quieter place during the next six months, after Queensland's oldest bells were removed from their tower and sent for restoration in England.

Following a false start due to wet weather on the weekend, the roof of St Paul's Anglican Church was removed yesterday morning, and the bells were carefully manoeuvred out.

Specialist church bell hanger Neil Thomas flew out from the UK to Maryborough last week to supervise the removal, before packing the bells up to take them to Whitechapel Foundry in London, where they were originally built.

A crane operator volunteered his time to the delicate task of lifting the bells - which weigh a total of 4.6 tonnes - while on-lookers gathered to see the historic moment.

"The bells themselves are one of the finest sets in Australia, and they're in very good condition considering their age," Mr Thomas said.

"But the methods of tuning them have improved over the years, so they will be re-tuned and the worn-out moving parts will be replaced."

The belltower was the first one to be built north of Sydney, when pioneer Edgar Aldridge donated the 25-metre tower and rare nine-bell set in memory of his wife Maria, who died on March 17, 1886.

The bell restoration project has been a labour of love for the St Paul's parish, which has raised about $75,000 through donations, raffles and special events.

But the fundraising is not over yet - another $75,000 will be needed to bring the bells back to their full glory.

"We will continue to fundraise until we get there," Bell Restoration Appeal Committee spokesman Ian Miles said.

The refurbished bells are expected to be back in place by December.

Topics:  england, st paul's anglican church




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bronwyn Bancroft’s Colours of Australia

Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.

Colourful Australia opened at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

It's time to bring out the winter woolies

Grafton's Clarence St shrouded in fog this morning. Photo was taken slightly after 8am.Photo Matthew McInerney / Daily Examiner

Cooler overnight temperatures here to stay

Pair paddles 60km to highlight depression

DETERMINED: Will Brighton and Todd Ives in Yamba during their 60km paddle from Woody Head to Wooli.

Will Brighton and Todd Ives share rewarding experience on the water

Latest deals and offers

Bronwyn Bancroft's Colours of Australia

Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.

Artist Bronwyn Bancroft's exhibition Colours of Australia is introduced by her...

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Men's Shed possum boxes

(back l-r) David Abrahams, Frank heppell, Warren Moss, Kevin Wtkins and (front) Darcy Knight with some of the possum boxes the Grafton Men's Shed are making for the new highway construction.

Grafton Men's Shed members have made 65 possum boxes for Eco Logical Australia to...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest