Featured Chime Projects

St. John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

This historic Anglican church was the target of a terrible arson fire in 2001. The 10 bells of the Meneely & Company chime cast in 1902 fell with the tower; when they were retrieved, it was found that the tenor and two other bells were cracked. The bells were sent to us for refurbishment and recasting of the cracked bells. We recast the smaller two cracked bells here at Georgetown; since this was previous to our expansion of our foundry capacity, we arranged for the tenor to be recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England, and that bell was tuned by them to our specification. The bells recast here, and all the remaining original Meneely bells were tuned by us, and all bells were fitted with new clappers, ball bearings and support bolts. The bells were rehung on a new timber frame locally made in Lunenburg, with our consultation, in the Fall of 2003. Over the next year a replica of the original chimestand was built by the chimer of St. John’s, Peter Allen. We furnished new adjustable springs and a few related specialty items, and Mr. Allen reconnected the bells in playing order, prior to their being taken back into regular use in the restored church when the church was rededicated in June, 2005. In the months after that, one of the bells, seemingly undamaged upon the most careful inspection, began to gradually lose its ring, as it was played. It was discovered that a very small crack was developing near the head of the bell, previously undetectable. Therefore, this bell, the third in the chime, was recast by us, to a special Meneely pattern, and installed in Spring, 2007. (www.stjohnslunenburg.org)

An old photo of St. John’s Church, ca. 1912, in an early catalog of Meneely & Company, makers of the chime
Bell frame with some of the bells after falling from the tower
Recast and refinished bells arrive back home
St. John’s chimer Peter Allen with one of the recast bells. Cast to special Meneely patterns, the recast bells had the original inscription wording applied by a special stencil/blasting technique, to reproduce the original Meneely “stippled” inscriptions
Bells being hung at ground level on the rebuilt timber chime frame
The chime frame being raised to the rebuilt tower
The chime in place
The steeple, fabricated on the ground, is placed on the tower.