In general, the notes of the bells in a ringing peal form a diatonic musical scale. Our bells are approximately in the key of F so the notes, going up the scale from the Tenor to the Treble are F, G, A, Bb, C and D. If the peal were augmented to eight, the two extra bells would have the notes E and F to form a complete octave. A peal of bells, like any other musical instrument, usually becomes more versatile if its range is extended. Musically there is completeness to the sound of eight bells which is missing from the lower numbers. This greatly increases the musical satisfaction for both the ringers and the listener.
Our existing bellframe could not be modified to accommodate two extra bells because it does not make the most efficient use of the available space. However, because it has to be removed and rebuilt anyway, we are taking the opportunity to have it rearranged so that it will take the full octave of eight bells. Doing so now means the increase in cost is relatively small. The total cost of the new frame has been covered by a grant of £18,000 from the Landfill Communities Fund (Viridor Credits).
An eight-bell frame is one thing; obtaining the two extra bells is quite another. To have the two bells cast, tuned and supplied with all the necessary ringing fittings will add a considerable amount to the overall cost of the project. We were lucky enough to have received a donation from Johnson Matthey to enable us to achieve this.