The Death Knell for British Founding

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Thu Apr 1 21:18:15 BST 2004

What are people's thoughts on today's leading articles and letters in 
the Ringing World? Are the bell founders crying 'wolf' 
unecessarily? The lists are supposed only to be advisory: or are 
they considered mandatory by many DACs and advisers? How many bells 
are not on the list already that are likely to be affected by future 
work? Physical and historical merits of a bell or ring are easily 
judged, but how on earth are satisfactory criteria going to be 
developed for tonal quality. Recent correspondence on this list has 
demonstrated that, for instance, what I like to listen to is not 
everyone else's cup of tea (good thing probably!), so how will such a 
subjective thing be judged?

I can see considerable merit in having a systematic listing process 
for historic bell frames, we have lost far too many of these during 
the last hundred years - I was responsible for a good few frames 
ending their days on a bonfire in my years as an advisor, as no doubt 
were quite a number of others on this list! But in how many jobs 
carried out in recent years has a listed frame (if such a thing has 
existed up till now) been a real obstacle to a good restoration? I 
know we can all think of examples of English Heritage saying 'this' 
and someone else not allowing 'that', but what percentage of bell 
restoration jobs have really been compromised by such puritanical 

Further more, why has the CCC decided to move so fast on this 
occasion when it is clear that past deliberations and consultation 
have taken place over a much longer period? Is there a hidden 
agneda here?

Before I put any comments forward to the CCC, I would very much like 
to be more enlightened about both sides of the argument.

Your comments please.


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