The Guy Fawkes Day Tower Cleanup was a great success! Judy, Rob, and Thomas made the tower so clean it’s almost unrecognizable. Here are some pictures so ringers won’t be disoriented next time they are here.
Rob and Thomas swept the bell chamber’s floor and drainage channel, climbing over the frame on each side of the tenor, then sweeping and cleaning around the outside in opposite directions until meeting on the other side at the 3 and 4. The take was a trash bag’s worth of straw, feathers, dirt, dust, rust and chunks of the galvanized gutter up under the louvers, and chips and flakes of paint, on top of the two bags Thomas had cleared out in previous weeks. Now the bell chamber should dry out quickly and completely whenever rain gets in. We wore dust masks, thank goodness — when we came down from the upper chambers our masks were black with dust.
Judy and Thomas attacked dust, dirt, and clutter in the ringing chamber and downstairs room. The tower’s vacuum cleaner proved its mettle! It had been idle so long we weren’t sure how it would cope. We threaded some objects down the spiral staircase (the dismantled ladder rail—tight fit!—and the tall box no current ringer needs) and others back up (the bookcase and the tower library). Every surface within reach was scrubbed, swept, or vacuumed within an inch of its life.
Finally, Thomas continued the ongoing task of replacing the railing’s rusted washers with stainless ones and scrubbing off the old rust stains. Six down, ten to go! And the hobo message, haiku, or whatever had been scribbled on the wall is now only a fading memory.