[Bell Historians] Liverpool Cathedral Bells

David Cawley dcawley at w...
Tue Jun 29 23:30:57 BST 2004

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Before you run off castigating Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the truly great arc=
hitect of Liverpool Cathedral, you should remember that he was a personal f=
riend of A A Hughes. Both were men of integrity and humility. Both, and als=
o Paul Taylor, the founder of 'Great George', warned the Cathedral authori=
ties of the consequences which would attend the placing of such enormousd q=
uantities of bell metal within such vast spaces surrounded by so much concr=
ete and with so little enclosure for the ringers.

Dean Dwelly had his own ideas about bells and ringers, as came out at the o=
pening of the Cathedral bells in 1951, and the consequences of the imstalla=
tion as it was made and remains must be laid squarely at his door.=20
The primary sources can probably now never be quoted so you'll have to take=
my word for it, as one who was much too young to be there, but whose fasci=
nation with the subject has remained ever since I first read about Liverpoo=
l's great Cathedral.

----- Original Message -----=20
From: jimhedgcock=20
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com=20
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 6:44 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Re: Coalbrookdale was Warners bells

---> I well remember Doug Hughes telling me that his Father told the=20
> Cathedral Authorities at the time of the installation that it would=20
> not work acoustically and even put forward a plan to make it work,=20
> but was virtually told to mind his own business by the Cathedral=20
> Architect!
> I've always been of the opinion that at the top of the tower of=20
> Liverpool Cathedral is a magnificent ring of bells, just waiting to=20
> be put into a more sympathetic tower! I'm sure that, today, quite=20
> lot could be done to improve them, even in their present position.
> R

Arrogant architects still exist. There is a church where thousands=20
of pounds have been wasted on ineffective sound control. The=20
inserted floor has a gap between it and the walls, so that the ends=20
of the foundation beams can be inspected. As you can imagine there=20
were protestations, but the PCC went along with the architect, who=20
would not listen to reason.
There were lots of stories about Liverpool Cathedral even in the=20
relatively short time between their inauguration and my beginning to=20
ring there in @ 1962. I have heard that a felt jacket was used to=20
cover the bourdon so that it was not set off vibrating by the ring.=20=20
I was also told that the felt was stolen! Other stories were that=20
the circle in the ringing chamber should have been screened off from=20
the rest of the room and that the screening should have been extended=20
into the next chamber, the ring being enclosed in a large, louvred=20
wooden box.
>From what Richard says, these stories seem unlikely to be true.

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