Vol. I No. 08 11/13/2020
Update: The Children's Chimesby Bruce Blair
The restoration of our unique and historic Children's Chimes has never looked more likely as Bob Verdin and Jeff Lewis of The Verdin Bell Company met with town officials and chime ringers at the tower on 10/14 to update and review renovation plans. Attending, the review were Select Board members Patrick White and Roxanne McCaffery, Town Administrator Michael Canales, Facilities Manager Chris Marsden, and Peter Williams of the Historical Commission. Also attending was EDM structural engineer Carlo Schneller and senior ringer Claire Williams.
The tower itself will need some minor repairs to stone and cement before any additional work can begin. Mr. Canales and Mr. Marsden are working on the financial/operational planning. The Historical Commission will consider the balance between restoring the original components of the chimes and the possible expansion of the bells from the current 11 to a more standard 14 bell configuration with an updated playing stand.
The expansion would improve both the playability and musical versatility of the chimes. However, the chimes could also retain their current configuration with a repaired and restored frame and playing stand to preserve the historic character of these original structures. The bells were last expanded with the addition of the latest bell in 1973. The current frame holding the bells themselves is in poor condition, as are the cables and hardware.
The work could begin as early as next spring on the concrete and stone work. The bells would be removed from the tower and stored while the frame, cables, and stand are rebuilt. The result would return this historic instrument to top playing condition which could last for generations with the right maintenance.
Children's Chime Tower