[Bell Historians] Stayless bells.

matthewhigby at a... matthewhigby at a...
Thu May 13 08:44:28 BST 2004

The stays and pendulum sliders at Warden Hill were a bit of an experiment on 
my part! I never expected them to be used in the long run. The bells were 
supplied with ash stays but these proved too hard to break (Tower captains 
words). They have since been replaced with more breakable and cheaper pine stays. 
In my opinion the stays should be removed as they make handling difficult 
and also make a lot of noise (which echo's through the steel structure of the 
"tower" which passes down through the ringing chamber to the Church walls).

The 'flip' side to stayless trebles of very light rings and mini rings is 
bells of this weight with stays and sliders. The late Arthur Jopp's private 
ring of 12 at Stoulton have stays and sliders on all bells, as does the the new 
lightest ring in a church at St Christopher's, Warden Hill, Cheltenham (6, 
63lbs, all Taylors). The recent G&BDA AGM at Warden Hill last month was a 
veritable riot, with even experienced ringers getting into a right old mess. It 
was reported at the subsequent meeting that the previous record for breaking a 
stay at a G&B meeting had been exceeded by 200%, ie three stays broken. The 
Tower Captain bore the pain very well, I thought, even as yet another stay 
was transformed into kindling wood. (I nearly said 'firewood', but that would 
have been OTT.) These stays were deal, not ash. Can anyone tell me why deal is 
preferred to ash in such cases?

Matthew Higby & Co Ltd,
Church Bell Engineers.
Jasmine Cottage,
The Street,
BA3 4HN.

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