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Five centuries old church bell silent during tuning job

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SOEST – Bells in church towers continue to chime at set times and can be heard at least through sections of large cities or throughout smaller towns, the wind permitting. In medieval times, the bells were everyone’s ‘time pieces’ and heralded public notices, including those for church services, funerals, general emergencies such as dangerously rising water and approaching enemy troops, and, of course, the daily time schedule. The ‘koster’ or his helper(s) were charged with this responsibility and billed citizens for private requests to peel the bells for weddings or funerals. Just recently, the bells of the Old Church fell silent for a few weeks as technicians retuned them and checked the ropes, the peel mechanism and the ‘klepels.’ Every twenty years, the bells require such maintenance to prevent excessive wear. The large Soest bell is one of the older ones in the country and it has a smaller companion, dating from 1506.