Some of us are lucky enough to have a Spanner Fairy that visits from time to time. S/he is a cousin of the Tooth Fairy, who leaves coins in exchange for teeth and second cousin to the Dog Poo Fairy, who is expected to remove the full bags so carefully hung on trees and dispose of them in a sensible place. The Spanner Fairy can be relied on to mend small items if they are left on the work bench although subtle hints may have to be dropped at regular intervals. Sometimes s/he consults Youtube in search of a good fix.
I had a broken bell. It did not mysteriously break but the clapper was twiddled in an experimental fashion until the spring broke, at which point it was handed back to me in 2 pieces by an anxious -looking 5 year old. Sadly, it was a day or 2 before the School Talent contest and I had 2 bands ready to enter. Without the number 4 of 8 it was going to sound odd, so we decided to wait for another opportunity to share our enthusiasm for handbells.
Another opportunity is fast approaching. Our tower band and friends will be ringing handbells for the school carol concert in the last week of term and it occurred to me that a rendition of Jingle Bells by my erstwhile Very Junior Ringers ( VJRs) would be appropriate. Without the number 4, it will not be possible because I am not letting the twiddlers/tiddlers loose on a decent set of handbells in case a child tries to re-configure one of them, so I began to drop hints to the Spanner Fairy.
First I consulted Youtube – how to mend a twiddled clapper on a set of toy bells? There was no information because less thrifty people would probably throw the broken bell in the bin. Next I consulted a man who knows about handbells. He used to work at the Whitechapel foundry on the little things. Admittedly, it was well below his pay-grade to consider such a paltry problem (value of my bell about £3), but he gave it his expert attention and did not laugh me out of the tower. He opined that a tiny drill bit and a spot of heat to melt the spring back into the plastic might work. The advice was passed on to the resident fairy and a repair effected. No need to shell out £24 on a new set and we can get practising Jingle Bells this week.
Any exploratory fingers will be reminded not to twiddle.
Thank you to my very own Bell Fairy. I have a few other jobs that need doing, should you have a spare moment….