Staunton Harold (was Canon removal and faculties)

Richard Offen richard at ...
Fri Nov 4 03:19:06 GMT 2005

> > 
> > Alann
> Staunton Harold were truly awful in sound and go. A virtually 
> useless restoration. I don't think they are rung now.
> David

Staunton Harold Church is owned by the National Trust and the 
restoration of the bells is a paragon of what happens when a non-
ringing conservationist (now one of the most senior Directors with the 
NT - moral: if they're useless promote them!) can do when given a free 

Alas, I had only been working for the Trust for a few months when the 
work was undertaken and so, despite a heartfelt plea from Alan Berry of 
J T & Co (who were the main contractors for the work) I was unable to 
exert any influence whatsoever.   

The main problem was the Trust's architect (who thought he knew all 
about bells because his uncle was a `famous' ringer!) and the Trust's 
Regional Conservation Department, both of whom steadfastly refused to 
even allow the cast-in crown staples to be drilled out of the bells.  
The result was that the bells sat around Taylor's work for a very long 
period whilst everyone argued over what work could and couldn't be 
carried out and then, in the end, they were put back in the tower `as 
removed' with virtually nothing done to them whatsoever.   

The argument put to me at the time for this unorthodox approach to bell 
restoration was that "organists are quite happy to work a little harder 
when playing a `period' tracker action organ." My argument that 
organists don't run the risk of hanging themselves when their 
instrument runs a muck with them was met with a bemused silence!

Had all this occurred a few years later in my career with the NT, and 
had Chris Dalton been their bells advisor as he is now, I'm sure the 
whole sorry affair would never have happened!



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