Bell rings to mark restored chapel

PUBLISHED: 13:30 04 November 2010

Milton Rd Cemetery, WsM. Cemetery Chapel. Bell being delivered. (Right) Jason Beck and Matthew Higby of Matthew Higby and Co. Church Bell Engineers, Stone Mason Sam Findlay of Nibus Conservation, Fleur Ragan of Knight Frank Building Consultants, Town Councillers Pauline Priestman and Keith Morris, TC Development Officer Zoe Clements, Head Groundstaff Paul McElean and Friends of Milton Road Cemetery John Stephen, Dr Howard Smith and John Crockford-Hawley.

Milton Rd Cemetery, WsM. Cemetery Chapel. Bell being delivered. (Right) Jason Beck and Matthew Higby of Matthew Higby and Co. Church Bell Engineers, Stone Mason Sam Findlay of Nibus Conservation, Fleur Ragan of Knight Frank Building Consultants, Town Councillers Pauline Priestman and Keith Morris, TC Development Officer Zoe Clements, Head Groundstaff Paul McElean and Friends of Milton Road Cemetery John Stephen, Dr Howard Smith and John Crockford-Hawley.

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THE chapel bell at a Weston cemetery which has not rung in 30 years will toll once again to mark the completion of a major restoration project at the site.

Milton Rd Cemetery, WsM. Cemetery Chapel. Bell being delivered. (Right) Jason Beck and Matthew Higby of Matthew Higby and Co. Church Bell Engineers, Stone Mason Sam Findlay of Nibus Conservation, Fleur Ragan of Knight Frank Building Consultants, Town Councillers Pauline Priestman and Keith Morris, TC Development Officer Zoe Clements, Head Groundstaff Paul McElean and Friends of Milton Road Cemetery John Stephen, Dr Howard Smith and John Crockford-Hawley.

Work to renovate the Grade II listed chapel at Milton Road Cemetery reached a key stage last week with the return of the 18th century bell.

The £150,000 restoration project, which has been on-going for several months, involves erecting an historical exhibition at the site as well as new facilities to carry out audio tours.

Weston Town Council appointed Bristol property specialist Knight Frank to manage the contract which has already included the rebuilding and restoration of the chapel’s spire.

Now the iconic bell has been returned to the chapel and to its former glory following cleaning, polishing and restoration by Bath-based Matthew Higby & Co Limited.

It is to be set back into place within the tower complete with new furnishings and will be rung at the official opening of the chapel on November 27.

Town mayor Phil Judd will cut the ribbon and a representative from the Heritage Lottery will ring the bell for the first time in 30 years.

The chapel was used for funerals for more than a century but was closed three years ago because the stone and metal spire was judged to be unsafe.

The opening ceremony will mark a new chapter in the chapel’s 154-year history and will launch the new historical centre at the site.

Restoration work is being part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has helped to pay for the repair of the chapel, the creation of a two-hour audio tour which talks about people, place and wildlife, and educational packages for schools, on Victorian symbolism and on World War Two.

Fleur Ragan, of Knight Frank, said: “It is rewarding to see the chapel and its bell being restored so well by local craftsmen, and everyone is looking forward to the building being used once again.”

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