By the early 1980s the 1895 ring was becoming extremely difficult to handle
as well as being odd-struck and unsuitable for teaching young people; it was apparent that some
work would have to be done before long. As a first step the Select Vestry were asked to commission
an inspection by a representative of the Towers and Belfries Committee of the Central Council of
Church Bell Ringers and Mr. Clarke Walters, M.A.,M.Sc.,M.I.C.E. was invited to look at the bells.
His finding confirmed that the mechanics of the bells had reached the end of their useful life,
the original oak frame was now loose in the tower and that the bells should be rehung. It was also
considered desirable that the bells be retuned and augmented to ten, as this would give a 'light
six' suitable for teaching.
At about this time the tower structure was also causing serious concern both as
to the safety of the decorative rosettes at the top of the tower and the battlements and the need
for complete repointing. This work was regarded as essential and it was therefore decided to restore
both the tower and the bells at the same time.
Many schemes were considered in respect of the bells, the simplest being to retune
and rehang the old eight bells. In accordance with Mr. Walters' report the ringers' aspirations, the
possibility of augmenting the ring to ten was seriously discussed, and it soon became known that a
donar would be forthcoming for one of the extra bells.
Investigation revealed that adding two treble bells to the old eight might be
difficult on one level in the belfry, as one of the bells might have to be hung above the rest. This,
although often done, is not always successful and the alternative of recasting the ring slightly
lighter was examined. A number of advantages would flow from this plan: all the bells could be on
one level, they would be of superior quality musically since the principle of Simpson tuning had
been discovered some time after the old ring was cast in 1895, and although more expensive the extra
cost of this action would be largely compensated for by other savings.
The old bells were in the key of E, and therefore sounded just below F in modern
pitch; recasting them into a 15cwt ring in F# with octave hum notes instead of sevenths could be
expected to give much the same sound as regards pitch.
Careful examination of this plan by the Bell Foundry showed that there would in
fact be room on one level, not only for ten bells but for twelve. There would also be enough metal
in the old peal for twelve bells at the proposed weight. It was therefore recommended to the Select
Vestry that the bells be recast into ten, hung in a frame for twelve, and that the surplus metal be
retained against the time in the future when funds would be available to cast the eleventh and
twelfth bells. The ringers guaranteed to find donors or funds for the bells above eight.
The Select Vestry accepted this proposal in November 1986, and in December the
order for the work was placed with the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, who had cast the original ring.
Within weeks the ringers has confirmed the donations of the two extra bells making ten. Soon
afterwards the Northern District of the Irish Assocation of Bellringers offered to raise the money
for a third if this would guarantee a twelve bell ring. This, together with an offer for the
fourth extra bell, enabled the Select Vestry to be asked to amend the order on Whitechapel to
provide the complete twelve bell ring. This was duly done in March 1987.