Mears and Stainbank

oakcroft13 bill at h...
Thu May 9 09:22:44 BST 2002

One hears much said about the varying quality of peals from 
Whitechapel in the 19th / early 20th century, before they adopted 
true-harmonic tuning. I analysed a 1915 Mears 8 last night, I was 
told they were much better than another 1915 peal just down the 
road . . .

Do people have views as to changes in quality from WBF over the 
18th / 19th / early 20th centuries? Opinions along the lines 
of 'their trebles sound thin until 1850, after which point they get 
better' would be very useful, as would pointers to good or bad rings. 
The harmonic structure of WBF bells over this period seems 
consistent, I'm trying to get a handle on changes in quality that I 
can try to track back to physical attributes of the bells or their 

One of the more interesting features of all these old-style peals is 
that the bells sound rather different individually and rung in peal - 
especially the trebles, which scream when chimed, close up, but which 
blend OK into the peal. The reasons are obvious, but it suggests that 
WBF knew more about what they were doing than perhaps we give them 
credit for.

I'm not asking people to do my work for me(!), I am researching the 
recorded history and now have a complete catalogue of WBF output. But 
people's perception of peal quality is very important.


Bill H

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