jim phillips jim at p...
Tue Apr 29 15:33:58 BST 2003

>However, it seems to be generally agreed,
>especially in the light of what happened at St Paul's, that wrought iron
>is not sensible in a bell of this size

For years and years wrought iron proved an excellent material for clappers,
even in big bells, producing the most gorgeous of sounds. The problem is
that you cannot now get new ' good quality ' wrought iron. One only has to
look at the manufacture of WI to see why this is. SG iron breaks and EN16
breaks when used for clappers of large bells. There is one material which
has, as far as I know, never broken when used as a clapper shaft and that is
wood. Wood is capable of absorbing the shock produced in the shaft when the
clapper ball hits the bell. It is high time some serious research went into
clapper design as I feel at present new clappers are just a matter of
financial expediency, and many do not care as long as the clapper makes a
bink or a bonk so that a place or a dodge can be counted. Fortunately there
are some who do care and I am sure it will not be too long before York tenor
is again sounding its gorgeous self.

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