Saturday, March 31, 2007

Too late!

The old school is still in the news! The Lymington Times report this week a last ditch attempt to stop the demolition by a legal challenge by protestors. Sadly for them their action was too late.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Some people have strong views about restoration of old items. I guess I do about really valuable items, particularly if you wish to retain or enhance its value. As far as I am concerned I make the rules based on an assessment of the advice available and my own common sense. My first priority was to have a good look at the bell. As far as I can see it is in quite good condition. A bit of rust around the frame but the bell itself looks fine. It looks as though the bell was at some time coated with a black paint. I thought it was just grime but it simply does not come off. So my approach will be to remove all dirt, rust and old paint and then re coat the lot. So after a quick clean with a power washer I had to see if I could shift all those old nuts and bolts. With just a little help from WD40 and a couple of spanners, off they all came. But After a few careful attempts I could not remove the bell from its steel bar headstock. So now here are the parts awaiting my next move which is to remove all rust and old paint. But how?

It's official!

At last the bell is officially mine. Here I am picking it up from the TAB site managers' office. After 120 years the bell is on its way to a new home in Sway where it can be seen awaiting some tender loving care.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bell Tower for sale

The old school must once have had another bell in a separate bell tower which can be seen in previous photos. A lady offered to buy this but withdrew when she realised it was too big for her garden. I had a good look but decided not to make an offer. So here it is. Not often do you see a bell tower for sale. I will find out what happens to it.


Here is the bell carefully guarded in the site Manager's office. It shows the way the bell frame was linked to the inside of the building where the bell handle was controlled. I suspect that close inspection will reveal quite a challenge to my limited restoration skills - but I am sure I will find someone willing to help me. Thoughts are now turning to a way of displaying the bell - on a double brick wall with a pitched roof?! Not sure about having the bell pull in a bedroom so some innovative thinking is required.


Remember that lovely old school building photos of which appear in earlier posts? Well here it is today. All those memories of children who went to the school in its heyday from the 1890s. I wonder how many heard the school bell ring?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A great day

Demolition has started. 'Should have mentioned it yesterday' said Ruth this morning. I was at the site within 10 minutes. No sign of the building where the bell once hung. No sign of the bell. After a few anxious moments I was able to attract the attention of the site manager. He assured me that the bell had been rescued and he had been told of my interest. I was able to inspect the bell. Quite a surprise. I had wondered how the bell was rung. Well I had my answer. The bell frame was connected through the wall of the building to a bell pull inside. A formidable set of fittings - all still intact. Lots of rust and grime and a formidable restoration project made me ponder.
Undeterred, as soon as I got home I telephoned my contact at TAB Projects Ltd., the demolition contractor, and made an offer for the bell.
Late afternoon my contact Alison told me the bell was mine! The agreed payment would be donated by TAB to charity. A really nice gesture. I will collect the bell soon and then the challenge of restoration and display can begin. I will be posting photos as soon as I can. I took some today but they didn't come out. A chap cannot get everything right!
A great day.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Signs of life

Bulldozers have moved in. But no demolition yet. Now on red alert waiting by the 'phone.