[Bell Historians] Staunton Harold (was Canon removal and faculties)

Roderic Bickerton rodbic at ...
Fri Nov 4 09:23:37 GMT 2005

A very interesting and through reply From Richard Offen, and I would like
to thank Richard for making this interesting but controversial material
I rang at Staunton Harold a few years before they were done and they were
not that bad.
I am sure the whole ringing community would be very interested to hear if
there is any likelihood of these bells being improved sufficiently to be

Let me relay a story from Woburn (a 24cwt 8 on plane bearings ) which could
hint at why Staunton Harold are not rung.
Last year the 7th started to go poorly.
An inspection showed that the bell hangs out of level quite noticeably and
one gudgeon rests against the baring block end continuously the other having
a gap of 6mm. They are on a good iron frame on massive timber foundations.
A bell hanging company was called in, I see no point in naming them.
They basically said the bearings were warn out but it would probably help to
pack up the low side so that the bell rang level. This was very generously
done there and then, I believe at no cost.
When we turned up for a 1/4 following this the bell was going extremely
badly, most ringers not being able to keep it up. Careful cleaning and a
better lubricant were tried to no avail.
The bell was like that for a month and a 1/4 struggled through, the bell
reducing me to a dripping shaking wreck.
I proposed we should remove the packing from under the baring block and put
it back as near as possible as it was.
This was done. The baring scrupusley cleaned and oiled with 140 hypoid.
Incidentally there is very little ware in the journals or the gudgeon pins.
It went beautifully and still does.
The packing had misaligned the baring.
1 or 2 thousandths of an inch miss alignment will cause the weight on the
baring to be almost entirely on one end of the gudgeon pin causing a
pressure point and terrible "go", to the point of being unringable . The 7th
could not be rung by most members of the Sunday service band.
Had we left it, and struggled on, it would have run in to its new alignment
and eventually started to go reasonably well. The trivial amount of bedding
in that had occurred in a month of use would indicate that this could well
have taken 20 years!

The original reason for the poor "go", A very small amount of dirt in the
baring which is close to the louvers.

The lesson, do nothing that will change alignment of bedded in plain
bearings, but keep them very clean.

Plain bearings probably could be re-mounted, but that would take hours with
shimming and whiteness strips, and there would probably still be a period of
poor go until they were again fully run in.
Why bother, they will always be a maintenance issue.


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