Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Removal of Church Bells (Pictures)

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      This summer, Joe Connors of Troy, NY, drove to Bethlehem, NH, to witness some church bells being removed. He has sent photos to me since I live in NH and I am posting them for all to enjoy!

      Joe says:

      “This Episcopal Church was closed previously and the bells sold in 2007.

      The bells were removed thru a square hole cut in the roof and secured to a trailer. The whole process took about 6 hours. When the 48 bells were reinstalled at Middlebury College, it only took 4 hours to get them in.. On jobs involving one or more big bells, get professionals to do the job.

      Apparently several churches in the eastern U.S. were built in someones memory and donated to their diocese. I only heard stories, but this church was built in memory of an I V I E daughter who died at an early age. Her father was an executive with the Woolworth Co., in NYC, and vacationed in Bethlehem. The church was magnificently built, appointed and given to the diocese. From day one, apparently the diocese claimed surprise at the gift and never needed it. Or maybe they were miffed at not being consulted about it. It’s last use was by the White Mountain Private School a few times a year. When I first visited over ten years ago, choirbooks and anything to do with this electrified chime were disconnected or in disarray in back rooms. The power was cut off. You had to be a real diehard to get to the bells thru a louvered door at the top after navigating a ladder and two roofs. The door didn’t need to be locked. Bells and power apparatus were in pristine shape except they had aged. Never did get to ring them under power.

      I was fortunate to get a keyboard, automatic roll player (stamped Meneely) and rolls for the Hudson-Mohawk Gateway Museum in Troy.

      Calvary Church in Conshockon, PA also uses a roll player (by Deagan) to play their chimes.

      Ascension Episcopal, Holy Cross Episcopal and Woodside Presbyterian in Troy, NY are similarly gifted.
      It is amazing how quickly each diocese sees $$$ and moves to claim ownership and try to sell them, regardless of covenants. Most oversight has been abandoned in these cases. Finders, keepers.”

      Picture #1 shows where the bells came into the church in 1930. They came out the same place in 2007.

      The bells in the belfrey prior to removal.

      The crane and guide atop the church. If you look in the arch, you can see the hole where the bells are coming out.

      Another bell out of the belfrey and on its way to the trailer.

      The guide on the ground carefully makes sure the bell gets in place.

      A trailer full of big bells is ready to leave their home in the little NH town of Bethlehem.

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