Cathedral bells near completion

TRACY MILES
Last updated 15:06 07/02/2014
lois chappell
BELLS MAKE NEWS: Lois Chappell of Timaru holds a clipping from a London newspaper about the damaged ChristChurch Cathedral bells.

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The plight of the Christchurch Cathedral has been noted by more than one person on the other side of the world.

Lois Chappell of Timaru has received a note from her friend, the Right Reverend Robert Ladds, assistant bishop for the Anglican Diocese of London.

He thought she would be interested in a London newspaper clipping of the mould for a new No 5 bell for the Christchurch Cathedral being cast at an English foundry.

The mould was cast at John Taylor & Co The Bell Foundry in the English Midlands town of Loughborough.

It is for one of 13 bells from the cathedral that were shipped to England for repair in 2012.

After hanging in the cathedral tower for nearly 33 years, the 1970s-made bells fell in the February 22, 2011 quake and were buried in the debris of the destroyed tower.

They were retrieved six months later, stored at Ferrymead Historic Park then loaded into containers in July and sent across the world.

They have also drawn the attention of bell ringers from Lancashire who have raised about £200 to help towards the cost of re-casting the bells.

Foundry director Paul Mason told the Leicester Mercury the set - ranging in weight from 250kg to one ton - would be ready to be shipped back to Christchurch by March.

The cost of repair is about $120,000 and the bells themselves are valued at about $600,000.

General manager Richard Grimmett said 12 of the 13 bells were in better condition than feared and only required new fittings.

It is unclear what will be done with them as the fate of the cathedral is subject to various legal wrangling.

Taylor's Foundry is believed to be one of only two firms in the country capable of recasting the bells.

The No 5 bell was being melted down and the molten metal poured into the cast of the original bell.

SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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