Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Thu May 13 13:51:02 BST 2004

--- In bellhistorians at, "bellmaster" 
<andrew_higson at t...> wrote:
> I had a similar problem when I was at university in Birmingham. 
Learners at Edgabston carved through innumerable stays that we had 
bought locally. I was allowed to try buying a stay from the trade - 
WBF, as it happened and, hey presto, it didn't get broken again - at 
least not for the time I was there, nor were any of the others that 
we subsequently replaced with "proper" ash. Long term, the saving to 
that tower by paying more for a better cut of wood outweighed the 
initial extra expense, especially as it came in the post rather than 
having to chase around to a suitable(ish) wood yard.
> Andrew

I bought some, supposedly, air dried ash from a local, and pretty 
reputable, timber merchant some years ago to make stay to replace two 
worm-eaten ones at Great Ness. All I can say is that it must have 
been air dried in the Sahara Desert, because it was clear from the 
moment that I started machining it that it was desiccated beyond 

However, I pressed on regardless and replaced the treble (2 cwt) 
stay. I raised the bell to check that all was well, set it and two 
seconds later, the stay snapped like a carrot! What a waste of time 
and money!


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