[Bell Historians] Bromham, Wilts

matthewhigby at a... matthewhigby at a...
Sun Mar 16 22:06:27 GMT 2003

In a message dated 16/03/03 10:59:36 GMT Standard Time, djb122 at y... 

> I expect Whitechapel actually cast them - most of l&J's early bells were
> cast by either them or Taylor's. At St John's Glastonbury the old 4th
> stated 'Peter Llewellin made me', when it was actually a Whitechapel
> bell. The old 7th was another early L&J bell, although who cast this one
> is uncertain. Sadly both bells were scrapped in the 'restoration' of the
> early 1990s, which was a total disaster from every point of view - the
> old bells were apparently a majestic although rather tough-going eight.
> The present bells sound vile and don't go especially well either.

I am pretty sure it was the 7th that was cast at Whitechapel. Both the 4th 
and 7th were undersized (the 4th was quite a bit smaller than the 3rd) and 
hence they were dropped in the restoration project. I am afraid I disagree 
with the "Total Disaster" bit. I rang a quarter on the old 8 just before they 
were removed. The 26cwt tenor was a truly magnificent bell which covered upa 
multitude of sins in the other bells. However, the tower movement was 
excessive and they were very hard to ring. The locals (who also ring at St 
Benedict - an 11cwt 6) found them very hard to train and maintain a local 
band with.

>From memory the outline of the scheme was:

Old tenor - now a slow swinger at Albury (NSW).
Old 7th (Replaced with the ex St Saviour, Larkhall Tenor as the tenor of the 
remodelled 8)
Old 6th - New 7th (A Bilbie Bell I think).
Old 5th - Recast to become new 6th.
Old 4th - Scrapped
Old 3rd - New 5th (Bilbie again).
Old 2nd - New 4th (Old style Taylor)
Old Treble - New 3rd (Old style Taylor)

Two new Whitechapel trebles complete the octave. They were tuned by 
Whitechapel and hung in a new single level bellframe ¢ 20 feet lower in the 
tower with new fittings (Inc WBF cast iron stocks) by Bob Parker ¢1993. I 
think the tuning work was very effective, however the tenor isn't one of 
Warners better efforts but it is superior (and heavier) than the old 7th.

The tower still moves (but no way as much as before) and the 14cwt tenor is 
much more in keeping with the local band. I have had some really good ringing 
on them with a relatively inexperienced band.

Until that time the only other rings of 8 in that area were: Street (23cwt 
and very rough) and Wells St Cuthbert (27cwt and difficult). Learning 8 bell 
ringing in the Glaston Branch was rather a challenge! Pilton (17cwt) and 
Butleigh (19cwt) have since been augmented.

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