All complete sets of new muffles are supplied in a complimentary storage bag (may vary in colour) with hanging strap, and drawstring. It features an embroidered Big Wilf’s Bell Muffles logo which will be stitched on using our in-house computerised embroidery machine and the church location and dedication (or other text as required). All our bags are made in the UK by us and proudly display the Union Flag in the seam.
The muffle bag is primarily provided to ensure that the muffles are kept safely in a clean storage environment. The 100% cotton bag material is carefully designed to allow the muffles to breathe whilst hanging on the hook within your tower.
We advise against storing muffles in a damp environment. The bag should be hung in a well-ventilated space or on a coat hook in the ringing chamber to allow the muffles to breathe.
The velcro fixing straps on the muffles can very easily be contaminated with fluff and dirt if left just lying around in a belfry or ringing chamber. If this happens the locking capability of the velcro can be ruined, and the muffles rendered useless.
Should your muffles have gone mouldy – cleaning the leather with white vinegar will remove the mould from the muffles.
The velcro should be kept away from fluff, lint and dirt. When stored, the velcro straps should be wrapped up with the furry side (loop) facing out to prevent it from attaching themselves together or to other garments. The hook tape is of an industrial type and may cause damage to other clothing or garments if it is to come into contact with them. We cannot be held liable for this.
To keep the leather supple, neatsfoot oil, or mink oil is traditionally recommended, a vegetable alternative is to consider olive oil rubbed into the leather, but it may leave a residue.
We can provide copies of all the muffle bag embroideries completed in the last 15 years for £145.00 per embroidery including a new muffle bag – they take up to 6 hours to embroider.
Should you require us to provide an image from a new photograph embroidered onto your muffle bag, this will involve us digitizing your photograph in an embroidery program and manually drawing in the stitching design to generate the file for the embroidery machine. This process takes approximately 6 hours for which a charge of £130.00 is applied to undertake this, plus the £145.00 for undertaking the embroidery and making the bag.
Whilst velcro-fastening muffles are generally at least as secure as the traditional buckle-fastening type, there can be problems of slippage with SG clappers or other modern clappers having a very smooth and round surface - or indeed a painted surface. We recommend the existing paintwork on the clapper is sanded and a coat of anti-slip paint applied.
Where timber or composite clappers have a square shaft which is used to secure the muffle - these clappers do not need anti-slip paint applied to them if the muffles are properly fitted and located on the shaft and don’t slip around.
We have tried and tested many ideas and we have settled on an anti-slip paint applied to the clapper. We encourage all our customers to paint the clapper shaft, ball and flight with an anti-slip coating such as ProtectaKote. Any paint on the striking face will wear off within a few ringing sessions.
ProtectaKote is available from the below suppliers:
New Venture Products Ltd, Unit 8, The Glenmore Centre, Grove Technology Park, Downsview Road, Wantage, OX12 9GN.
Tel: 0845 430 4030 or +44(0)1235 817482. Email: .
Black paint comes in 500 ml tins, which is sufficient for your clappers; other colours are available, but only in the 1 litre size. Please include a reference to “Big Wilf’s Bell muffles” when ordering as you will then receive two brushes free of charge.
Clean Services in Omagh, Tel: 02882 240730 (contact Mr Halliday).
Please note that ProtectaKote should be stored at a temperature above 5° C, so it is advisable not to leave it in the bell chamber during the winter months.
Outside of the United Kingdom
ProtectaKote is manufactured in South Africa, however it may not be available outside the UK. Some alternatives we have been made aware of are (We are unable to verify these without extensive cost to import paint products into the UK for testing):
Australia - Sportscoat manufactured in Adelaide by ASTEC.
Address: 24 Pinn Street, St Marys, South Australia 5042. Phone: +61 8 8277 6067; Fax: +61 8 8277 6291.
New Zealand - Rocktuff from Duram Industries (PTY) Ltd.
Address: Unit 3, 65 Elizabeth Knox Place, Mount Wellington, Auckland. Phone: (09) 527 0551; Fax: (09) 527 0552.
An alternative second best to anti-slip paint is to use self amalgamating tape applied to the shaft just above the clapper ball, and to the flight. We suggest a 3” wide band of self-amalgamating tape is wrapped around both the flight and the shaft of the clapper. If you have never applied self-amalgamating tape before we would encourage you to read the instructions that come with it as it needs to be stretched and worked before applying it. Most electrical suppliers or wholesalers will be able to supply it. Self-amalgamating tape is not the same as PVC electrical tape commonly found in a lot of towers and used on bell ropes.