They’re back!

July 31st, 2009 David


sprocketsA team of scaffolders arrived at the church early this morning. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out what they were planning.

Bizarrely, they’ve been asked to move some of the top stone sprockets – the small pieces of shaped stone running along the spire edges – because they were wrongly positioned during the rebuild.

It sounds very odd to do this some months after removing all that expensive scaffolding, and I’m trying to find out some more information.

A lot of people – myself included – have commented that the sprockets don’t seem as evenly-spaced as they were originally. But I didn’t think anyone would suggest going up there and repositioning them.

They’re putting up ladders this morning to take a closer look. And next week they plan to errect some scafflding to complete the work. This will involve removing the sprockets and pinning in new ones.

It can’t be a cheap job so I wonder who’s going to take the blame – and expense – for putting it right!

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All finished!

April 22nd, 2009 David


finished!It’s 22 April 2009 and the final piece of scaffolding has just been taken away. The top part of the spire, damaged by the earthquake more than a year ago, has been completely rebuilt. And the chancel roof repaired.

I hope visitors to this site have enjoyed this on-line diary of the work. And that it will serve as a record for future generations. Thanks for dropping by! David.

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YouTube video: recording the great day!

February 25th, 2009 David


YouTube video part 3The day dawned cold and bright. A clear blue winter sky would provide wonderful views across the Leicestershire countryside from atop the newly rebuilt spire.

ITV local news were on hand to record the great event as the reguilded weather cock finally regained its perch, nearly one year from the fateful earthquake which cracked our church spire.

I’ve just posted a clip taken on the day on YouTube. It starts with the ITV news report, followed by my very shaky video taken from the top of the spire. (I had hoped to post the clip earlier, but pulled a muscle on the climb and have been trying to avoid sitting at a keyboard ever since!)

Bell-ringing captain, John Matthews, was given the task of placing the gleaming weather cock on its new spindle. Joining John and myself at the top were project architects, John Dodson and Silvester Cheung, local builder David Craddock, and Geof Armitage.

Click on the image on the right to view the video clip.

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See the weather cock regain its perch

January 8th, 2009 David


weather cockSunday 18th January is the great day when the reguilded weather cock finally regains its perch high above the village.

The renovation of the weather cock was sponsored by John Vale of Regent Garage and bell-ringing captain, John Matthews. Both Johns will help cement the vane in place on the day.

There will also be one final opportunity for the brave and hardy to climb to the top of the scaffolding and admire the wonderful views. Anyone interested is asked to pay a £50 donation to the cost of the new chancel roof. Phone Christine on 01664 464802 asap to reserve your place.

The day will start from 11am, with the church opening for refreshments from 12 until 1pm. The re-fixing of the weather cock is expected to take place at 12.30.

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YouTube video: Ringing in 2009

January 5th, 2009 David


YouTube video part 3It was an auspicious last day of 2008 as the bell-ringers made ready to ring in the New Year. The bell ringers had been first to discover the damage caused to the spire by the earthquake back in February. Some ten months after they were silenced, this was to be the first time all six bells would ring out over the village.

Our thanks to bell-ringing captain, John Matthews, his wife Christine, and other members of the team – Roy, Barry, Ken, Andrew and Mark – for allowing me to film the event. And to Richard for taking photographs as villagers met on the crossroads at the stroke of midnight.

Click on the image on the right to view the video clip.

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Past the half-way point

November 16th, 2008 David


Rebuilding the spireIt’s now mid November and father and son team, Richard and Matt, together with Robin, from Cedar Steeplejack, have passed the half-way stage of the rebuilding work.

These photos, taken by Richard on November 12th, show that the mid level openings have already been replaced. And they’re now well on the way to the upper openings in the spire.

It’s also interesting to see the amount of new stone-work they’ve had to use.

Click here to view slideshow 7.

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Putting it all together again

September 29th, 2008 David


Rebuilding the spire
Father and son team, Richard and Matt from Cedar Steeplejacks, have kindly taken some more photos to add to our fast-expanding collection. Taken on a fresh and bright autumn morning, they show the first stages of rebuilding Waltham church’s cracked spire.

They will be taking more photos as the work progresses over the coming weeks. It will be fascinating to see how long it takes before the weather-cock finally regains its perch high above our village.

Click here to view slideshow 6.

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Architect’s Facebook website and photo albums

September 9th, 2008 David


Facebook siteArchitects, Parkinson Dodson Cheung were appointed by the insurers to oversee the repair of the spire. They were really helpful during the recent spire climb, taking time to show villagers the damage, as well as explain how they planned to tackle the repair project.

We’ve just discovered their FaceBook site which includes an on-line diary, plus plans of the project. There are also a couple of photo albums showing some fascinating close-ups of the work involved (right).

Click here to view their FaceBook home page
Click here to view the most recent album. (Click on first image and then follow the ‘Next’ links.)
Click here to view the first photo album.

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Our latest slideshow

September 2nd, 2008 David


Dismantling the spireThe team from Cedar Steeplejacks have been here for a couple of weeks. Provided the weather continues to be kind, they hope to have completed the dismantling of the spire by this Friday (5th September).

I’ve just uploaded the first set of photos of the work – taken by Mathew, one of the steeplejacks. There aren’t many photos at the moment, but we’re planning to add some more over the next few days.

They’ve also kindly agreed to take some video of the work on Sunday. So hopefully we’ll be able to create a third YouTube clip of the project, capturing this stage of the repair for posterity.

Click here to view slideshow 5.

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Another chance to climb the spire

August 4th, 2008 David


Christine has just emailed to say:

More hot news off the press! I just heard from John Dodson, the architect, who has said that if we can get enough people together, he will do a similar spire climb for others – on possibly the 20th Sept (first day of the Waltham Fair).

I’ve already heard of a few people who said they would have like to have done it but were away/didn’t know about it, so it may well happen. Although the work will have started by then, climbers will be able to look down into the spire and see the construction – so there will be interest there, as well as the wonderful view from the top.

Anyone interested should contact me, Christine, on 01664 464802, or send an e-mail to wee3alexander@btinternet.com. Please let me know as soon as possible as there will be a maximum of 20 allowed up again, and it will have to be on a first come, first served basis.

As before, there will be a £50 charge for the climb – with all proceeds going to the Church Renovation Fund.

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