Warners and Harmonic Tuning

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Sun Jun 20 11:06:00 BST 2004

Having looked at the major player of the 20th century in this field 
(and Alfred Bowell), we ought to think about Warners and what they 
got up to ("if we must!" I hear you sigh!).

Chelmsford Cathedral are approaching harmonically tuned, but, in my 
opinion, not near enough to be pleasant! I seem to remember 
Daresbury, Cheshire as being pretty near to harmonically tuned, but 
it is nearly 40 years since I rang there! 

What are Christ Church, Erith like? It's so long since I rang 
there, I can't remember, but I don't remember them making a huge 
impression on me.

It's clear that they were getting close to a shape that could produce 
an octave hum and the other partials in correct line, but some of 
their individual bells of this type were dreadful. The sixth (now 
eighth at Wye was cast in 1913 (or was it 1914?) and was best 
described using Bill Theobald's famous simile involving a cow's 
bottom and sundry other anatomical features! After tuning at 
Whitechapel (no Mr Hedgcock, they did NOT hack great lumps out of 
it!), it came back as a superb bell. I gather from Matthew Higby 
that the Warner bell in the new ring at Marston Bigot has tuned up 
exceedingly well too.

So when did Warner's start trying to produce bells with octave hums 
and did they ever achieve a decent, harmonically tuned ring of bells?


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