Great Clacton

Aidan C A Hopkins aidan at h...
Thu Jan 1 18:03:41 GMT 2004

On 30 Dec 2003 at 0:50, Alan Chantler wrote:
> This has arrived in my personal Inbox. I have already responded.
> Anyone else who wishes should respond to Jack off list.
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Jack Arr <marjax at b...>
> To: alan at c... 
> Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 4:25 PM [badly formatted header]
> Subject: bell ringing
> I have just come across your web site while looking for information on
> bell ringing and I wondered if you could possibly help me with a query
> I have regarding the bells we ring. 
> Our church ( St. John the Baptist, Parish Church of Great Clacton)
> dates back to the 11th century. We have just completed a restoration
> project after being closed for 16 years so we are now opened again for
> regular worship.
> We have six bells in the tower which have also been repaired and
> restored but the unusual thing is - the ropes are attached to the
> clappers. 
> The actual bells are -
> 1) A relatively new casting,possibly some time in the 1960s.
> 2, 3 & 4) Cast in 1721 by Thomas Gardner of Sudbury. Their
> diameters are 26", 30", 
> and 32" and weigh 41/2 cwt, 51/2 cwt and 6cwt respectively.
> 5 and 6)Cast in 1649 by Miles Gray of Colchester. Their diameters are
> 34" and 36" and weigh approx 7 1/2 cwt and 8 1/2 cwt respectively
> They do make a lovely sound and they can be managed by one person but
> would be pleased to know if you have come across this type of ringing
> before. 
> We would love to know more about it.

I presume from the description that the "repaired and restored" bells 
are hung for "clocking", and that somebody - probably Alan - has 
warned them of the risk of cracking. No doubt the "repairing and 
restoring" was an amateur job (in terms of bell work knowledge). 

Unless of course the terminology is wrong, and it is really an 
Ellacombe chime's hammers that the ropes are attached to!

What I find surprising is that the original email implies that the 
bells have been sitting there - perhaps since the 1960s or longer - 
and yet they are not listed in Dove, and the tower is not affiliated 
to the Essex Association.

I was rather hoping that somebody would make an on-list comment about 
them, and this very unusual combination of circumstances. 

I am copying this to r-c in case anybody only on that list has any 
knowledge, AND to Bell Historians in view of the ages of the old 
ones. It would be very interesting to hear them, particularly the old 

I am convinced that somebody somewhere on these lists must have more 
knowledge of the local situation.


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