[Bell Historians] Re: Woodchurch etc

CHRIS PICKFORD c.j.pickford.t21 at b...
Sun Feb 27 19:25:45 GMT 2005

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Must be brief - I'm supposed to be working to meet a deadline! - but I'd li=
ke to just add a couple of points (apart from pointing out that Giles has m=
istaken me for Chris Dalton)

I did take the point made by Giles, even though it may not have been clear =
in my answer, and I agree with him that this is nothing about history prope=
r (i.e. interpretation, use of evidence to make sense of things). It's simp=
ly about documenting or recording what exists and here (to repeat what I sa=
id) the only significance of a weight is as one element in a range of physi=
cal data about a bell.=20=20

Others (Mark Regan, for one) have already made the point on this list that =
Bell History is a misnomer for what we do when we record and document the c=
ontents of our belfries. But the fact that it isn't "history" doesn't make =
the activity any less valid. We need an accurate record of what exists, and=
the Woodchurch debate sits very comfortably in this context as we're tryin=
g to establish what is the "correct" weight (not necessarily an accurate on=
e - even though this is the ideal)

Andrew Bull has helpfully stated that the key thing about recorded weights =
is that they represent an actual weighing on scales - never mind the issue =
of accuracy for a moment - at a particular point in time. For me, there are=
a couple of main points:
a.. If a weight is quoted, I want to know the source
b.. If several weights are quoted at different periods, then I want to kn=
ow which is which (i.e. what weight was "current" at what date)
c.. If a discrepancy is found, then I want to try and establish the corre=
ct information by checking at source (and in the majority of cases this pro=
duced definitive answers, at least with regard to "recorded" weights)
On Woodchurch, it's clear that there are two possible recorded weights - bo=
th reliable in their way (and if the bell was weighed again, the result wou=
ld probably be neither 4-0-3 or 3-3-27, of course). As I've said, I hope th=
at Whitechapel can clarify. It may turn out to be a simple error in that th=
e wrong weight was entered in the book - but there may be another explanati=
on. Nigel?

Chris Pickford
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