Engineering student solves bell ringers' problem

15th March 2013 11:11am - Return to press releases

Engineering student Danny CouplandAn East Riding College student has come to the aid of a group of bell-ringers in an unlikely engineering project.
Danny Coupland, 18, from Beverley was commissioned to create a bespoke pulley mechanism to prevent the ropes from cutting through the floor of St Michael’s Church in the village of St Michaels, just outside St Albans, Hertfordshire.
After proposing, designing and carrying out the project, the level three engineering student has earned the gratitude of the local vicar and school children who are now allowed to ring the bell once more. 

Danny said: “It was interesting to be doing something different and to be helping someone out so I found that enjoyable too.
“I learned a lot about working independently because I had to plan, design and manufacture it myself.
“I learned more about how to use the machines and experimented with more tools.”

 The project came about after the vicar, the Rev Kenneth Padley, asked for a single bell rope to be extended to the ground floor.
A previous change to the alignment of the bells and ringing room meant that a rope could no longer drop straight to the ground floor and the rope was wearing through the floor of the first floor.
When a campanologist friend of engineering tutor John Simpson told him about the problem, he set the project for his student.
Danny’s design fits in the floor/ceiling void and includes a metal roller which allows the rope to go in at an angle and drop straight down, without wearing on the wood of the floor.
He designed the mechanism using the 3D CAD design software and then machined and assembled the various parts.

John said: “Danny has done a great job of designing and building this pulley, and all I’ve done is check his design and machining along the way.
“It has now been fitted and is working well. Danny has been sent thank you cards by the vicar and a group of local school children who had had to stop ringing the bell. They’re delighted they can now do it again.”

East Riding College runs a range of engineering and related courses at levels one, two, three and four. For more information, go to or call 0845 120 0037.


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