[Bell Historians] Warners in Zanzibar

David Cawley dcawley at w...
Wed Dec 1 19:10:38 GMT 2004

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1. This looks interesting. But to what article is CZS referring ?

2. I want some definite information on Toller Whelme. They want to make it =
redundant and of course it has a complete steel five in CI stocks and CI fr=
ame, all of 1864. Very interesting. I have been, rung there (1,2,4,4,5!) an=
d got a couple of photos, but never taken full details. I gather that one d=
oes CD no good by even attempting communication. So sad. I don't have Neil'=
s email address and wonder if he might advise ?

----- Original Message -----=20
From: George Dawson=20
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com=20
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 9:33 AM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Warners in Zanzibar

I'm sure David Cawley, who provided the Warner catalogue print will comme=
What we now need is someone to do Church Bells of Zanzibar to measure all
the diameters, do a tonal analysis on them and locate all the displaced


> Thanks, George! Your article is very helpful. However, at the risk
> of belabouring the obvious, I'm going to stick my neck out and add
> some comments and speculations of my own.
> Warner's drawing must have been done with a bit of artistic license -
> the multiple rows of 5 small bells on the upper level don't show
> enough variation in size. (Also, the perspective is visibly
> inconsistent.) Given the inscriptions which George has recorded from
> the original (not readable on the scanned image on the Web), this
> must be an approximate depiction of what was shipped to Zanzibar,
> probably fully assembled. The arrangement appears to have been 4
> rows of 5 bells on the upper level, and two pairs of big bells with a
> single slightly smaller bell on the lower level. More likely, the
> upper level was 5-5-5-4 while the lower was 2-2-2.
> What we see in the belfry photo is at least three levels of
> bell-carrying timbers, apparently dissociated from Warner's original
> supporting structure, probably reduced in length to fit into the
> belfry, installed in a rather haphazard manner. (I can't help but
> wonder why no one associated with the original project thought to
> make sure that the bell frame would fit into the tower at the
> destination.)
> At the lowest level is a row of three bells, with clapper-like
> internal chiming hammers mounted on a separate frame board,
> presumably original to Warner. (The rightmost hammer, however,
> appears to be a local replacement!) At the same level is an empty
> timber, approximately parallel to the first, which once held four
> bells (though three of the holes were re-drilled to change the
> spacing); but there's no visible evidence of support for chiming
> hammers for them.
> At the middle level is a row of two bells, at least one of which has
> its chiming hammer on a jury-rigged piece of board. At the same
> level is an empty timber for three bells (one hole re-drilled),
> clearly not parallel to the first. Again there is no visible
> evidence of support for their chiming hammers.
> At the top level is a single bell, hung approximately in the center
> of a timber that's crossways to the two levels below. There's no
> chiming hammer visible, but possibly there's an external clock hammer
> mounted on the short wide plank atop the center of the empty
> mid-level timber. There's another cross-timber at the same level,
> but it's not clear whether it ever held a bell - perhaps it just
> supports the edge of a small platform below the clockroom access
> hatchway.
> The perspective of the photograph makes it difficult to determine the
> relative sizes of the different levels of bells. But from their
> arrangement I would guess that the largest is at the top (as an hour
> bell) while the three smallest are at the bottom. These three must
> have come from the upper level of the original frame, leaving at most
> three which could have come from the lower level of the original
> frame. If so, then we're not seeing the "largest five" of the
> original 25 (though these five may now be connected to the lowest
> five positions on the chiming machine).
> The irregular black splotches on the ceiling are probably oil residue
> from years of over-enthusiastic oiling of the clock in the chamber
> above the belfry. (From what is or isn't visible in the belfry,
> access to the clock must be awkward, to say the least!)
> From the photo of the cathedral, the belfry (below the clock faces)
> appears to have two levels of three lancet openings on each side.
> That matches what we can see in the belfry photo, so it seems
> unlikely that there were any additional levels of bells that we can't
> see. There could have been one, now entirely empty, at about the
> height of the photographer's shoulders above the belfry floor; and
> there could have been an additional bell timber one or both of the
> two lower levels against the wall which is just out of the picture at
> the top. But that's pure speculation.
> What we can say (as George has summarized) is that there is clear
> evidence that at least 13 bells were hung in the tower at one time,
> and that only six currently remain. I'm tempted to be disappointed
> not to have more photos, especially of the chiming machine; but I'm
> delighted to have this much information. So thanks for putting it
> all together, George!
> I would welcome any additions or corrections to my interpretation of
> the evidence, particularly details from CJP's index of Warner's work.
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