Following the 2 lead thefts, the PCC is working with the Architect, Diocese and Zurich Insurance to try to get a replacement church roof as soon as possible. Here is the brief history of the thefts.
Well, as we all know it did rain for many days at the beginning of April
and continues to do so. OUR LEAD WAS STOLEN during this period
and we have a sodden church nave. A huge thank you must go to those
who rallied to mop up the floors, and pull back the carpets to
let the church dry out. Darren Guess of Burrough did a superb and almost instant
job of covering the wooden roof with a temporary material to minimise the
ingress of more rain. We think we know the route the thieves took and we have a good footprint.
We also know their methods of carrying the lead to a vehicle. Such a sad end to old lead
which has been looked after by generations of Great Dalby people.
The lead thieves have visited again during May, and have stolen more lead from the main roof,
slicing through the plastic covering. They have also stolen half of the ancient graffitied lead from
the porch roof. Luckily we have photos of this marvellous work, done in the late 1700's.
The writer is wondering about the massive workload, not to mention worry and expense, that this sort of theft places on carers of our Medieval churches. Is it time we had a National Trust for Medieval Churches ? How much longer will volunteers be willing to spend so much time raising money for a building they don't own? In many National Trust cenarios, life can continue for the occupants within the building. Our occupants would be parishioners and visitors who want or need to use these very old and magnificent buildings. Please feel free to email me if you have any comments to make, as we may have started a movement towards the future care of these Grade 1 and Grade 11* listed buildings.
Summer 2017 - the PCC is persuing quotes and designs for a light at the junction of the paths up to the church.
This will be in memory of Tony Parker, given by the family.
Here we are in late February 2018 having battled with a Faculty application. This if now being processed by the DAC. In the meantime however after copious dialogue and missed phone calls, and having applied for Listed Building Consent from Melton Borough Council, we now find that we need to apply for FULL PLANNING PERMISSION at the cost of £234. This is for a light which will only be used for monthly winter services, and Christmas services. The Secretary is psyching up to all the voluntary research, printing and drawing that this will require. Maybe we will just light a party flame when required approximately 5 times per year!
Finally, in August 2018 after further queries from MBC, following an objection by a neighbour, we now have Planning Consent. We intend to get the work done before the clocks go back again.
26/10/2018 The required hole for foundations will be dug next week, and the concrete base added. Hopefully...............
The refurbishment of the church clock face (Project now completed)
The blue clock face is suddenly looking very shabby. Two quotations are being sought . Some history of the church clock is shown below..........................
Church Clock - history notes
It is thought that the clock is ‘second hand’ having started out life as the church clock of St Mary’s Melton Mowbray. It was made around 1750 and came to Great Dalby in 1802. It was out of action for 20 years, from 1966.
In 1986/7, over a period of 16 months, it was lovingly restored by a villager, Mr Brian Mills and his work colleague Mr Mark Green, who both worked at Charles Keene college in Leicester. Brian was a lecturer in Pattern Making and Mark was a engineer. No charge was made for this project.
They took a small sample of the old paint on the clock face, to The Leicester Paint and Lead Company, who identified it as ‘Trafalgar Blue’. At some point in the clock’s history, minute hands were added. Previously only an hour hand was thought necessary – no train time tables or Ebay countdowns to adhere to.
Wrought iron of Triple Best quality was used in the workings of the clock. This is denoted by 3 dots on the iron. 2 large weights, which hung down in to the bell tower were removed by Brian & Mark, being replaced by 2 newly cast smaller and lighter weights. Originally the clock needed rewinding every 36 hours. Latterly this had been done by the Bell Captain, Charlie Cooper. His wages were half a pint of beer in the Royal Oak after each winding session..
Before starting the refurbishment the clock was taken to an expert in Uffington for advice. The winding mechanism was electrified. There were some teething problems over the first few months and Messrs Smiths of Derby were consulted, and further adjustments were made. However the clock has been working nicely ever since. It is looked after by John Simms, with Roger Sharpe deputising.
To paint the clock face, back in the 1980’s Brian tied a rope to the bell frame, which came out of the tower via the louvres. He then tied a rope round himself and with a bit of support from young Phil Tyler managed to get the blue and gold paint onto the clock face.
Notes from the old Minute Books
1945 – The church clock had been repaired by Mr Pickle of Owston and it was proposed that a letter of thanks be sent to him. As Mr Pickle would not make a charge for his work it was proposed to send him a guinea in appreciation of his kindness.