Oakham and Pythagorean tuning

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Sat Jun 12 05:29:57 BST 2004

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "nigelsdtaylor" 
<nigeltaylor at k...> wrote:
> Cyril Johnston tended to cut heavily into the corner of the 
> as this is the most responsive area for flattening the 2nd partial 
> (Cyril called it the "strike"). Unfortunately, he sometimes made 
> area too thin.

Legend has it that this is exactly what happened when Gillett's tried 
to tune the old bells at Thaxtead, Essex. Overzealous tuning of 
the "strike" resulted in several bells being parted off at the 
crown! After this incident, G & J only tuned the nominals of old 
bells (tuned at the soundbow) to avoid such a disaster happening 

G & J were certainly not afraid to remove metal from their new bells 
however. Looking at the tuning figures for Bromley, which Dickon 
has recently extracted from the Gillett records in Croydon Library, I 
noticed that the tenor had over 3 cwt of metal taken out of it during 
the tuning process - an amount you might expect from tuning a 3 or 4 
tonner, but not a 15 cwt bell! For all that, it ended up as a very 
fine and well tuned (including upper partials) bell however!


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