Gift for the festival: ringing complete again
Created: 2022-12-24 07:05
By: Max Joseph Kronenbitter
When installing the clapper, the bell tower is tight: Simon Lang (right) and Gerald Regner.
© Crown Bitters
"The bells never ring sweeter" - the Kottgeiseringers have every reason to sing this Christmas carol fervently this year.
Kottgeisering – Two days before Christmas, the eagerly awaited clapper of bell number 3 was installed.
Now the ringing is melodious again and, above all, complete.
Cobwebs on your face, dead flies on your neck, bumps on your head and a little bang trauma in your ears because you forgot to switch off the automatic and the hammer mercilessly banged on the bell that you almost crawled into when it struck the hour.
It's also freezing cold, the wind constantly howls through the logically open sound windows - and it's cramped in the small church tower of St. Valentin anyway.
Being a field worker for a bell maker is not for wimps.
Nevertheless, Gerald Regner enjoys the job.
"At least pigeons and bats aren't flying around here," says the master metalworker with relief.
Last job before the holidays
The chicken-ladder-like stairs are narrow and steep, but the tower is not that high.
"We've just come from the tower of the Marienmünster in Dießen, so it's a lot longer to get to the bell room," says Simon Lang, who actually has an office job at the Perner bell foundry in Passau.
"Woe to you if you forgot something."
The installation of the six-kilogram clapper that the two from Passau brought with them is the last job before the holidays, a kind of Christmas present to the parish.
The clapper was forged from soft steel with the pivot point shifted downwards.
"The clapper has to hit the upper side of the swinging bell and hit the brass knuckles, i.e. the thickest part of the bell," explains Simon Lang, who is actually a construction engineer.
Bell foundry is an apprenticeship, bell fitters, on the other hand, are usually career changers with metal or electrical training.
Clappers 1, 2 and 4 had already been renewed
With a few nuts, a backpack full of tools, a jigsaw and the clapper, they make their way upstairs.
Church sacristan Hermann Entholzner had unlocked the sacristy for them, through which one comes to a tiny room with a trapdoor on the ceiling leading up to the church tower.
When the bell rang, the tower vibrated
After a few floors, the wooden stairs end and the scrambling begins in the belfry screwed together from steel profiles.
Four bells, two on top of each other, hang in the Kottgeisering tower.
The clapper of bells 1, 2 and 4 have already been exchanged, the clapper of bell number 3 did not fit at the time.
The sacristan reported that something was wrong with the ringing of the church bells.
But the church door wobbled when the bell rang because the whole tower was vibrating.
An expert commissioned by the ordinariate then determined that the bells needed an upper weight to shift the center of gravity and that the clapper had to be rebalanced.
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Experts speak of vibration rehabilitation being carried out by the Passau company Perner, which has also been casting new bells for six years.
On this occasion, the church tower clock was renewed, which, to the chagrin of some Kottgeiserers, had been showing the wrong time for over a year.
Gerald Regner has to shorten the stainless steel threaded rod with a jigsaw.
"You can't flex in church towers because of the flying sparks." The two adjust the correct installation height by trial fitting.
The fact that bells are constantly ringing, even one at a time, irritates the citizens on this day.
Because they only know the ringing of bells (with the smallest and brightest bell number 4) outside of prayer times when someone has died.
It may take a little longer before Christmas mass
While the ringing of bells used to be something that the sacristan had to master by pulling correctly, today it is a matter of electronics.
A small computer, which is connected to the automatic control of the four bell motors, tells the two bell fitters whether the number of beats of the clapper and the ringing angle are correct.
Technology ensures that the frequency ranges do not overlap.
With this setting, the four bells (three are from 1950, the fourth was saved from being melted down during the Nazi era) will ring automatically again from now on.
At the "ringing together" before the beginning of Christmas mass, Hermann Entholzner will ring a little longer this time - so that everyone in the village can hear how sweet the bells are ringing (again).
You can find more current news from the district of Fürstenfeldbruck at Merkur.de/Fürstenfeldbruck.