[Bell Historians] Ellacombe or not?

Susan Dalton dalton.family at v...
Mon May 24 08:45:02 BST 2004

> Likewise, the hammers they use which are designed to strike the bell 
> on the inside of the lip, are Ellacombe hammers even if they are
> operated by a direct rope with no rack. Earlier Ellacombe Hammers are
> direct-action; those supplied since around the 1950s tend to be
> trigger-action.

All Ellacombe-type hammers are I think "direct action": trigger-action
clappers are a very different animal. In unskilled hands, chiming a bell
with an Ellacombe hammer can be as dangerous as "clocking" it. Some of the
more recent ones have been fitted with back-stops to prevent them from being
held on the bell, but as recently as 1973 Whitechapel fitted hammers without
back-stops to the 3 bells at Langton Matravers with the result that one of
the medieval ones got cracked.

I hate trigger-action clappers aesthetically and in the way that they wobble
the bells, but they are I think safer and do have an advantage in that
fitting them usually gets rid of the cast-in staple, or at least some of it.
But you can't put trigger-action clappers into bells which are also rung.


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