[Bell Historians] Heythrop, Oxon, and T C Lewis

Susan Dalton dalton.family at v...
Sun May 9 17:30:38 BST 2004

> Well, if he didn't have a tuning machine, he must have popped across the
> river and chatted up his friends at Warner's or Whitechapel to tune the two
> largest Heythrop bells for him. The evidence is there in the bells
> themselves as two of us have pointed out on this rather extended subject.
> In his little chime of six at Keston, near Bromley, 1888, tenor 21.3/16"
> diameter = 2-cwt, the treble, fourth and fifth have been tuned, each in
> slightly different areas.
> Likewise, many of the bells in the chime of 13 (1879) at Roehampton have
> been tuned.
> These two chimes represent the start and finish of his bellfounding
> Richard is correct about Shipbourne; far more satisfactory are his maiden
> eight at St Andrew, Kingsbury, ex-Wells St
> Are you sure he had a tuning machine? I quote from George Elphick's
> Church Bells of Sussex:
> "He was by nature an artist and set himself very high standards.
> About 1878 he started up as a bellfounder and always cast maiden
> bells, allowing no subsequent tuning whatsoever. To obtain his
> heaviest ring of eight - St Andrew's, Wells Street (now Kingsbury) -
> he cast more than twenty bells to obtain the desired results."
> Certainly his ring of six at Shipbourne, in Kent, are a miden peal.
> R. [Offen]
One reason I feel sure T C Lewis had his own tuning machine is that, unlike
Mears or Warners (or even Taylors) at the time, he tuned his bells other
than just on the soundbow. This is true of Heythrop, and I agree with DLC
about Roehampton, and it is also true of Lewis's (anonymous) 4th of 1879 at
Longstock, Hants.

Incidentally, it turns out that Warners were certainly cutting their bells
everywhere, including in the shoulder to deal with the fundamental/prime
frequency, by 1911 when they launched into "Simpson" tuning. That didn't
stop a lot of their bells still having this frequency extremely sharp, it
must be added (e.g. Somerton, Somerset, and Christ Church Erith).


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