[Bell Historians] unusual clappers

David Bryant david at b...
Thu Apr 8 21:35:39 BST 2004

> * The only exception to this is the machined SG clappers from Eayre &
> which do mirror the shape and therefore the dynamics of WI clappers.

In the 10th at York Minster we've got an SG clapper specially made by Fred
Pembleton to the same profile as the old wrought iron clapper. It has a
cheese-section counterweight like the old one, as well. It certainly bounces
well, as much if not more so than the WI clappers which were until recently
in the 9th and 11th.

We had a new SG clapper for the tenor last year, and I think the sound it
produces is better than the old EN16 clapper (which broke) although probably
not as good as a WI one would be. We then had the problem that with SG
clappers in 8, 10 and 12 and WI clappers in 9 and 11 the back bells sounded
really unbalanced. We had spare SG clappers for 9 and 11, so we put them in.
The bells are much better balanced now.

We are intending to get another clapper for the tenor as we've had to weight
the ball of the present one to make it strike hard enough. However, I really
don't think WI is a viable option with a bell of this size. Experience has
shown that with bells this big the clappers break far too frequently, and
even if it does produce the best sound we cannot afford to do this and have
to have it welded regularly!

And on a similar topic, Andrew Nicholson machined the SG clapper of Exeter
tenor a few years ago to make the shape similar to that of a WI clapper.

> Readers may be interested to know that the new ring of 12 at Kidderminster
> has WI clappers throughout. The bells sound very good indeed - and no
> amount of that is due to those clappers.

As I understand it, these were all re-worked from second-hand clappers which
Taylor's had in stock. I'll certainly be interested to hear what they sound
like when I get a chance - all the reports seem very favourable.


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