Ash stays

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Tue May 18 22:35:34 BST 2004

> understand Gillett's considered having the stay fitted centrally on 
> headstock so that when the stay got clouted the force was spread 
> between the two gudgeons rather than all the strain put on the 
gudgeon next
> to the stay. When was the first record of a stay being fitted and 

Well I thought it had a vaguely historical flavour - especially for 
those of us who were reminiscing about stays as they were 30 years 

According to Trevor Jennings' book, The Development of British Bell 
Fittings, the first recorded stays seem to date from the second half 
of the seventeenth century. He mentions an entry in the 
Churchwarden's Accounts for Aston, dated 1678, Milton Abbas, 1666, 
amongst others.

Moore, Holmes and MacKenzie fitted stays to the centre of their 
somewhat unorthodox headstocks at the end of the nineteenth 
century. The four at Surlingham, Norfolk used to be fitted thus 
(anyone know if they still are?). These operated a rolling bar 
under the centre of the bell, or, I believe, in some cases, a form of 
pendulum slider was used instead of the bar.


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