David Bryant djb122 at y...
Fri Apr 26 21:09:55 BST 2002

Looking through some photos, I came across some I took in two of the 'lost'
Shrewsbury towers a few years ago, and though list members might be
interested - I've put a few on the pictures page.

At St Alkmund's the 12 cwt 8 by a namesake of mine, Briant of Hertford, were
removed (in the early 1990s, I think) because the tower was considered
unsafe - they had not been rung for many years for this reason. They are now
at Honolulu Cathedral. My pictures show part of the ringing chamber, the
bellframe and the single small bell which now hangs in the 3rd pit. This
bell is by Rudhall, and came from the redundant church at the nearby village
of Preston Gubbals. It has lost its canons and hangs from a fabricated steel
counterbalanced swing-chiming headstock.

As the pictures show, the tower has been rather invaded by our feathered
foes - I seem to recall that inspecting it was even more disgusting than the
photos might suggest! Two peal boards which were presumably originally in
the ringing chamber are now mounted on the wall above the door to the stairs
in the base of the tower.

St Alkmund's is one of two churches in Fish Street. Ther other, St Julian,
is now a craft market and its tower has been converted into a house. The 13
cwt ring of six are now hung from chains from the ceiling in the base of the
tower, and can be seen by going into the craft centre. They have ropes
attached to their clappers, and these ropes fall into the Ellacombe rack on
the wall. I've put a photo of them on the photos page, but it's rather dark.

The beautiful (and sadly redundant - CCT) St Mary's church stands just
around the corner from St Alkmund's. It has a fine-toned 19 cwt ring of ten,
of which the back eight are probably the best bells existing which were cast
by Pack and Chapman.

The only other ring in Shrewsbury itself is the superb 39 cwt Taylor 1914
twelve at St Chad's. A 7 cwt 6 used to exist at St Michael's, outside the
town centre, but these bells were scrapped (not sure exactly when). The
church is now offices. Shrewsbury Abbey has a 21 cwt 8 which were once hung
for ringing but are now 'dead', and there ia an existing ring of eight at
Meole Brace just outside the town.


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