[Bell Historians] Adjustable gudgeons

David Bryant davidbryant at h...
Tue Feb 15 18:53:37 GMT 2005

>Ah - a headstock that doesn't move.


>- Is a deadstock always the same shape as a (non-tucked-up)
>headstock would be?

They are usually straight, yes.

>- Does this term also encompass the part of the frame of a chime or
>carillon from which a single bell is suspended?

I would have said so. In a modern carillon or chime, it is quite usual for a 
number of bells to be suspended from a single deadstock. These are usually 
made of two sections of steel channel placed back-to-back with a space in 
between, and steel plates top and bottom.

>Before welded steel headstocks enabled greater flexibility of design,
>modification of the period of swing of a bell was more difficult than
>it now is.

In this country, cast iron headstocks have generally been more popular than 
steel, particularly in the early days of metal headstocks. The concept of a 
slow-swinging bell in the English sense is a result of them, although a 
similar result has been achieved elsewhere by adding a heavy counterweight 
above the top of a timber headstock.

>The opposite extreme of bell-hanging is founding in Germany. (Is it
>only a coincidence that Germany is also on the opposite side of
>England from America, geographically speaking?) There the
>non-tucked-up headstock is preferred for fast free swinging, which
>produces a distinctly different "music" from that of an equivalent
>set of free-swinging bells hung American-style.

Taylor's hung a few single heavy full-circle ringing bells like this in the 
early C20 - examples which spring to mind are Rugby school chapel (since 
rehung on an arched slow-swinging headstock, and the bass bell of Cobh 
carillon (since rehung dead). In both cases, it appears that these bells 
were designed to be rung with a falling clapper in the German fashion. Both 
bells (with their fittings) are shown in contemporary Taylor photographs in 
my article on heavy single bells hung for ringing at



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