[Bell Historians] L&J Tenors (was CCC)

Susan Dalton dalton.family at v...
Wed Apr 7 12:05:29 BST 2004

> Anne Willis: Indeed, but both Bradford on Avon and Pilton tenors have been
> recently retuned
> And the result at BoA, according to Christopher Dalton, is 'magic'. Other
> comments have included 'what a lovely, lovely bell'.

[Absolutely, absolutely. But I would hesitate to suggest that this bell
should be "listed", (1) because it is now so good that nobody would want to
get rid of it and (2) because its present true-harmonic state is the result
of retuning; it certainly didn't sound at all like that before.

Incidentally, if "listing" bells is going to inhibit retuning where retuning
is essential (or even just desirable), then I oppose it unreservedly! What
would the now marvellous bells at Yeovil (tenor), Whitchurch Canonicorum
(tenor) and Exeter Cathedral (several) be like if the foundries hadn't been
allowed to tickle them up? Surely the important thing from the historical/
archaeological viewpoint is to record the partial tones before bells go on
the tuning machine. In Nigel Taylor at Whitechapel and Andrew Higson at
Loughborough we currently have two highly skilled tuners in this country and
I would be very sorry not to see their talents fully harnessed (except
perhaps at Bryanston...)]
> The catholic church just along the road from Holy Trinity has a 1624 bell
> (ex Dorchester All Saints) by John Dawton of Salisbury as a clock bell. I
> had quite a job convincing a visitor to the town that the tenor at HT (which
> sounds the hour) was by far the younger bell (1882). Her view was that
> because it sounded better, it must be older! In all fairness the Dawton
> bell does not have the hammers properly adjusted.

[And it didn't sound any good when it was at Dorchester A S either. Dawton
wasn't the founder John Wallis was.]


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