[Bell Historians] Wooden v steel stocks

Susan & Christopher Dalton dalton.family at ...
Fri Nov 4 19:10:54 GMT 2005

I won't join in this one except to say that for old bells with canons that
for whatever reason have to be kept, or it is desirable to keep, there is in
my opinion much to be said for a timber stock. However,

1. First find a decent bit of timber (traditionally elm; more recently
iroko which we are told is unsustainable or whatever)

2. Second, be aware that everything including gudgeon-plates regularly
needs checking for tightness and, if tightened, there can be an alignment

3. The founders/hangers would no doubt say what is the maximum size of bell
that they would happily hang for full-circle ringing on a wooden stock.
Not, I suspect, very large at all.

But as this is a historians' site, not (I thought) strictly a bellhangers, I
would merely draw attention to some of the expedients which can still be
seen around by those whpo are interested. For instance Warners' mighty
canon-retaining steel stocks at Aldbourne (and Bredon). And M & S's wooden
stocks of the 1920s and 30s made out of three pieces of timber where it was
desirable to tuck the bell up. Bowells have been mentioned. And so on.




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