G&J Simpson rings

Mike Chester mike at m...
Wed Jun 16 09:49:22 BST 2004

G & J did some jobs a bit like this!

On August 22nd, 1926, when being rung for evensong, the tenor of the 
six bells crashed from its headstock. The bell obviously needed re-
casting and a faculty was obtained from the Diocese to do this work. 
However the frame was found to be past repair, the condition of the 
bells proving to be worse than anticipated. When the old frame and 
bells were taken out of the tower the fifth was found to be cracked 
as well as the tenor. Then, on removing the headstock at the bell 
foundry the third was also found to be cracked. It was decided to 
have all the bells recast, as three needed recasting, and the others 
were a mixed bunch. At the same time it was agreed to install a new 
metal frame, hang the bells on ball bearings, and add two new trebles 
to make an eight. The work was to be carried out by Gillett and 
Johnston of Croydon. All this was done with a faculty to recast only 
the tenor!

When a full faculty was applied for the Chancellor for the Diocese of 
Ely was very annoyed. He suspended the churchwardens, reported the 
vicar Rev. Phillip Cooke to the Bishop, threatened the bell founders 
with ostracism in the Diocese, and refused the faculty!

As the tower was empty and eight new bells with frame and fittings 
were waiting at the bell foundry, it was decided to carry on without 
the faculty. The bells were rehung and first rung on just over a 
year after the tenor crashed. 

Seventy five years ago there were few rings of eight in 
Cambridgeshire, and Gillett and Johnston, conscious that there is no 
such thing as bad publicity made a very good job of Ickleton, without 
the aid of CAD, and even today our bells are still considered by many 
to be in the `top ten' in East 

(Who loves G & J bells, but will make an exception for Mountsorrel! 
<duck> I don't rate Ranmoor amongst their best either. <\duck> )

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