Temple Church; welding

D Cawley dave at d...
Sat Apr 27 00:55:12 BST 2002

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1. Temple Church 8, now in the Cathedral, were restored in 1887 by Taylors=
; the back 4 recast (tenor at the time 21-2-1) and hung in a pretty massive=
High A frame; unfortunately on a timber foundation and tied at the apices =
of the A's with timber. Taylor's removed the bells in the summer of 1941 a=
t the request of the church authorities leaving just the frame and the Ella=
combe which they installed in 1935 when they put the eight on ball-bearings=
. In 1987 we took some old ropes from St Thomas over to Temple and hung th=
em down through the rope holes to replicate the effect caused by the consid=
erable (5' 4") lean of the tower. Because the floors were level, the visua=
l effect was of "leaning ropes" ! Last time I was up there, the best pa=
rt of 10 years ago, the majority of the ropes were still there in the (appa=
rently always) very bare ringing chamber.
In addition to the 8 there was a Sanctus bell of c1350 hung in a smal=
l timber frame, also still there, level with the tops of the A's. This bel=
l found its way to Holy Cross Church, Inn's Court (aka Filwood Park) Bristo=
l, and has just been rehung there in the replacement church for the one it =
went to.
Taylor's quoted for rehanging Temple Church bells at Christ Church, Cli=
fton, in 1953;they had reservations about using the A frame there and when =
eventually the bells were given to the Cathedral in 1958, everything was ne=
w excepting the bells themselves and some of the clappers. So the A frame =
remains virtually intact apart from the shifted side; EH are well aware of =
its existence and regards it as a part of their inherited fabric.

For another Bristol frame which did go through and survived the flames =
see the 10 bell H-frame at St Nicholas, now containing a rather odd quartet=
. Notes 3, 6, 7b and 10 of ten, but the smallest is cast to a chiming size=
and therefore hangs in the treble pit on the old treble headstock. Unlike=
Temple, the tower was gutted through, and an enormous air conditioning sys=
tem occupies the best part of the old ringing and clock rooms.

The other towers lost their timber frames; but in the case of the post-=
war loss of Emmanuel, Clifton, the 2-tier timber frame remains in the tower=
, although the ringing room has been incorporated into flats - not only wer=
e the bells sold, even the peal boards were!

2. Welding in the crown. The earliest jobs were done with a 3" plate welde=
d into a hole trepanned into the crown following the removal of canons. In=
1971 when we were restoring the 3 bells of Snargate, Kent, the late Bill H=
ughes demurred at removing the canons of the 2nd for this purpose - and Sou=
ndweld very successfully welded a crown crack (and the bell was rehung, for=
swing chiming, from its canons). I think this was the case which set the =
pattern for future operations of this kind.

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