[Bell Historians] Great Clacton

David Cawley dcawley at w...
Thu Jan 1 22:06:42 GMT 2004

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The chime of five is as follows:

Treble: John Taylor & Co., Loughborough, 1964
2nd: Thomas Gardiner, Sudbury, 1721
3rd: Thomas Gardiner 1721
4th: John Taylor & Co., 1958
5th: Miles Graye III, Colchester, 1649
Tenor: John Taylor & Co., 1958 8-cwt 2-qr 24-lb in G#

The previous 4th & tenor were by Thomas Gardiner and Miles Graye respective=

The chiming cords should be attached at their top ends to trigger action cl=
appers - i.e. to the lever eye adjacent to the clapper hinge.
The chiming cords should be attached at their bottom end to a chiming manua=
l supplied in 1958; the manual should have individual pawl and ratchet adju=
stment facilities to daw the cords into adjustment. The cords themselves sh=
ould have rubber handgrips.

John Taylor & Co visited in 1957 and found the then ring of bells hanging i=
n a derelict condition. Two (the present 4th & tenor) were cracked. They ad=
vised recasting these and tuning the remainder; the canons to be retained o=
n the surviving 17th & 18th century bells.

They then quoted for

A. Rehanging in a new frame, for full-circle ringing
B. Rehanging in the old frame, for swing-chiming=20
C. Rehanging the three sound bells only in a new frame with a foundation fo=
r six, for full-circle ringing
D. Rehanging on steel joists, for stationary chiming only.

In the end they went for the last scheme, i.e. the old frame was removed, t=
he two cracked bells recast, new stationary chiming fittings provided and n=
ew steelwork on which to hang the bells stationary.

The treble was added six years later.

In view of the long period which has elapsed during which they have been si=
lent, it would be advisable for the parish to seek the advice of the Dioces=
an Adviser, David Sloman: he will be able to suggest any remedial action if=
it is necessary.

Good news about Great Clacton church, in fact just right for the New Year !


----- Original Message -----=20
From: Aidan C A Hopkins=20
To: change-ringers at b...=20
Cc: ringing-chat at b... ; bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com=20
Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2004 6:03 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Great Clacton

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 -----=20
> From: Jack Arr <marjax at b...>
> To: alan at c...=20
> 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.=20
> 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.=20=20
> 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",=20
> 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.=20
> We would love to know more about it.

I presume from the description that the "repaired and restored" bells=20
are hung for "clocking", and that somebody - probably Alan - has=20
warned them of the risk of cracking. No doubt the "repairing and=20
restoring" was an amateur job (in terms of bell work knowledge).=20

Unless of course the terminology is wrong, and it is really an=20
Ellacombe chime's hammers that the ropes are attached to!

What I find surprising is that the original email implies that the=20
bells have been sitting there - perhaps since the 1960s or longer -=20
and yet they are not listed in Dove, and the tower is not affiliated=20
to the Essex Association.

I was rather hoping that somebody would make an on-list comment about=20
them, and this very unusual combination of circumstances.=20

I am copying this to r-c in case anybody only on that list has any=20
knowledge, AND to Bell Historians in view of the ages of the old=20
ones. It would be very interesting to hear them, particularly the old=20

I am convinced that somebody somewhere on these lists must have more=20
knowledge of the local situation.


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