[Bell Historians] Heavitree RC church

David Bryant djb122 at y...
Mon Jun 24 12:17:40 BST 2002

mikechester_uk wrote:

> Not - quite, Liverpool is only a quarter of a ton heaver, 82cwt as
> opposed to the 77cwt bell at Heavitree. Heavitree is a quarter of a
> ton heavier than the Cathedral.

Whoops! For some reason I thought it was 73 - I should have checked!

> Does that fact that the 11th at Exeter is "only" c.41cwt have any
> bearing on this? (No pun intended!). Is the tenor "heavy" or the 11th
> light? My rough calculations (based on tenor-1 being around 2/3 of
> the weight of the tenor) suggest that the 11th should be around 46cwt
> or that the tenor should be about 61/62cwt.

It's the tenor that's heavy, compared to the rest. It is interesting to
compare the ring with York, a complete Bb Taylor 12. York tenor is
actually lower in pitch than Exeter (it's almost A). The 11ths at both
are more or less the same weight. The 8th, 9th, and 10th at Exeter are
slightly heavier than York, but only by a few cwts. The Exeter 7th is
substantially heavier than York (18 cwt in G), and is therefore
exceptionally heavy for its note (anyone know of a thicker modern Taylor
bell?), and is cast on a heavier scale than even the tenor. The front
six and semitones at Exeter are all lighter then York, the trebles by as
much as 2 cwt. I believe that when Exeter tenor was cast The cathedral
authorities wanted to make sure they had a bell powerful enough to cover
the 11th properly (the 11th, by Thomas Purdue, is a very good and
powerful bell), and asked for it to be cast this heavy. Therefore the
ring is over-tenord rather than under-11thd!

I've also heard it said that Redcliffe is over-tenored, but this I do
not agree with. The tenor is of the correct note for its weight and is
in proportion to the ten other Taylor bells in the ring. It is the three
old bells (8, 10, 11) which are light for their notes and consequently
light for the rest of the ring. That said, they're pretty good bells,
especially the 11th.

While on the subject of scales of thickness, it seems to me that
Taylor's haven't cast thin-scale bells below B or C. Broadly, there are
two weights for Taylor 12s in C - 35 and 40 cwt. 40cwt equates to a 60
cwt Bb (as at York). 35 would equate to about 52½ cwt. Are there any
Taylor Bb bells of this weight? I believe the chime at Bradwell in
Derbyshire is a 39 cwt B, which is an even thinner scale, equating to a
26 cwt C. Are there any thinner scale modern Taylor bells than this?


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