Spurious Dove "exact" tenor weights

Andrew Bull a.bull at s...
Wed Jul 23 16:30:32 BST 2003

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-----Original Message-----
From: David Bryant [mailto:david at b...]
Sent: 22 July 2003 15:21
To: Bell Historians
Subject: [Bell Historians] Taunton & Somerset Founders
Does anyone come across a reliable source for the 19-3-14 given by Dove
for the tenor at St James? Neither George Massey nor myself found
any source for this, and from its dimensions I doubt if the bell is more
than about 18 cwt.
There still seems to be a number of spurious "exact" tenor weights in Dove,
even if one does not include instances where the canons have been removed
without the bell being re-weighed. Earlier this year I looked into a few
missing details with Nick Bowden for his South Gloucestershire list, and
found spurious exact tenor weights at three towers within a few miles of
each other. Tytherington, given as 12-0-18, has a Taylor treble, but apart
from this do not appear to have had any attention since the L & J rehang of
1884. The tenor, at 37 inches diameter, is too small to be 12-0-18; could i=
be just co-incidence that Tysoe, Warks, the tower above Tytherington in
Dove, is also 12-0-18? Tortworth, where the Jefferies & Price tenor is give=
as 12-2-25, were rehung by Taylors in 1959, but one of the very kind "fount=
of all knowledge" checked the appropriate details, and found that the work
had been carried out in the tower. This tenor would most likely weigh aroun=
12=BD cwt.
The most interesting of the three was Iron Acton - given as 13-0-23 in F.
The tenor is actually heavier than the Dove weight, at around 15=BD cwt. Fi=
lighter Taylor bells were added in 1884 to a Jefferies & Price bell, but a
check of the records revealed that the tenor had never left the tower.
13-0-23 was the as-cast weight of the fifth, which Taylors had mistakenly
put on the invoice instead of the finished weight. The tenor, 44 5/8 inches
in diameter, has never been weighed.
I'll offer a final case - Shepton Mallett, Somerset. Tenor given as 24-3-25=
cast by Thomas Rudhall in 1773, was rehung by L & J in 1910 with the canons
removed. Neither of the all-knowing Christophers can find a source for the
24-3-25; at 51=BC inches in diameter, I calculate the tenor to weigh around
23=BD cwt.
Andrew Bull

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