[Bell Historians] Re: Lichfield Cathedral

Stuart Hutchieson stuart.hutchieson at n...
Fri May 21 19:52:34 BST 2004

From: "jimhedgcock" <jameshedgcock at h...>

> Was there ever any serious study performed to consider the transfer
> the bells to the North West tower?

No serious study. The choir have been resident in the North West tower for
c25 yrs. Serious problems with the frame date from somewhat later. Prior to
that it was apparently unused apart from general storage (including, for
some reason, the statue of Charles I now in the Close.) Another (not
inconsiderable) consideration would have been moving the clock.

> I have heard it said that the Freemasons of Staffordshire wanted to
> present a ring of twelve, that the insistence in using the old frame
> prevented this, and that the bells are heavy for their key because
> the metal for the 'missing' two trebles was used in the casting of
> the ten. Is there any truth in this story?

Checking with some longer-standing Lichy people they have never heard that
story. Indeed they mention that mould dimension figures were supplied for
potential trebles of twelve should they ever be required. This would imply
to me that the ten were cast 'as intended'. Again, does anyone have figures
for the new Writtle ten to compare the front end with?

> Also, why, in the
> immediate post war period was this frame then treated with
> such 'respect' when others were being thrown out for firewood? I
> would suggest that conservation in the 1940's was fairly low on the
> agenda.

The architect, Pace (eg. Addleshaw Tower at Chester Cathedral?) had what
appears to be an enthusiasm about this particular frame and he insisted upon
its retention. I don't know if he was aware of its importance as the
'oldest' ten bell frame. The Freemasons offered effectively a blank cheque
and a new frame was, I believe, a possibility.

Stuart Hutchieson

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