[Bell Historians] Earliest ring of bells on commercial ball races

David Bryant david at b...
Thu Oct 2 20:47:14 BST 2003

> In the West Cumbria, it has always been "said" that Hensingham St.
> John (Taylors - 8 bells, 1914), one of the last rings of bells to be
> hung before the Great War, was also the first ring of bells to be
> entirely hung on ball races. Can anyone comment on this? They are
> still on their original bearings to my knowledge, but where they the
> first?

Possibly - I believe the earliest Taylor ball bearings were on the tenor at
the bellfoundry campanile (1899). Other eary ones include the tenor at
Lincoln (1913) and the tenor at St Chad, Shrewsbury (1914). I don't know of
any complete rings earlier than 1914 with ball bearings. Taylor's didn't
adopt them as standard until about 1920, and the other bellhanging firms
adopted them at about the same time.


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