[Bell Historians] heavy tenors

David Bryant david at b...
Tue Oct 28 09:45:59 GMT 2003

> Aren't there a combination of factors in these cases? Up to a point, the
extra weight was needed to give a good bell of the right note - and it's
important to look at key as well as weight in all these cases. Remember,
too, that the old bells were reduced in weight by removal of canons and
tuning, increasing the gap between the old N-1 and the new tenor - though at
27-0-23 "as received" Redcliffe 11th was already light for its note. Also,
many of Taylors' earlier true-harmonic rings were cast on a thick - almost
Grimthorpian - scale, like Ampthill 13-3-6 in A flat, Cardington 20-2-15 in
F/E (since recast and now 19-1-1), and Dublin 45-1-18 in C)

Yes, I agree. I think some cases (Dublin being a good one) do show
disproportionately heavy tenors relative to the rest of the ring, even where
the complete ring is by Taylor's. The other bells at Dublin are on the
weight scale for the standard '40 cwt C' tenor, it's just the tenor itself
which is heavier.

As Chris says, a number of Taylor's early true-harmonic rings are on a thick
scale. Another good example is Towcester, 23 in E, and in the proto-true
harmonic period Merthyr (20 in F) are a good example.

I think these just show changing ideas in practice. A similar point can be
made about thre trebles of twelves, particularly those by Taylor's, which
vary widely in proportion to the tenor at various periods through the C20.

As regards Louth, cited in Jim's first email, it does seem rather strange
that Taylor's cast a tenor on their heaviest 'D' scale. A 25 cwt D (such as
Leicester Cathedral) or even a 23-24 cwt D (such as Lincoln Cathedral) would
seem more in keeping with the remainder of the ring.


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