[Bell Historians] Glastonbury

David Bryant djb122 at y...
Sun Mar 16 23:22:10 GMT 2003

Matthew wrote:

"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
were removed. The 26cwt tenor was a truly magnificent bell which covered up
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."

It would be a great shame if all decent heavy rings were destroyed by
ringers wanting something easier to ring. Did you know that there was a
scheme at York Minster in the 70s to scrap 6, 10, 11, 12 and add three
trebles and a semitone to what remained to complete a lighter twelve. Just
shows you what stupid ideas ringers can have. The justification was that
York would never sustain a band capable of ringing a 59 cwt 12.....

"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
on them with a relatively inexperienced band."

Why couldn't they rehang the old eight on two tiers lower down? A similar
scheme to Glastonbury was proposed at Bishops Lydeard, where one suggested
scheme was to remodel the fine 23 cwt eight using the 12 cwt 6th as tenor.
Fortunately the local ringers refused to allow this, quite rightly in my
opinion. I don't believe that wanting a lighter ring because it takes less
effort to ring them should ever be used as an excuse to ruin a good ring of

"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."

Not rung at Street. St Cuthbert's are a nice old-style eight. Pilton are
very nice, and Butleigh were a good six, although I haven't rung on them
since augmentation. All three are considerably better than Glastonbury, in
my opinion.


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