[Bell Historians] Baldrick - was Tuning forks

Richard Offen richard at LASVsC4Ge4yCzUgxLd6Ltpx7X8grURJR2TDgzjiowEzQPIlYo46VW2jamAh6Qh4IX9MnpHc.yahoo.invalid
Wed Apr 19 18:20:15 BST 2006

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "edward martin" 
<edward.w.martin at ...> wrote:
> Hello
> my copy of the older edition of the OED has
> "4: The leather-gear with its apurtenances, by which the clapper of a 
> bell was suspended. Obs." but I always thought (with no memorable 
> in support) that it was a leather washer between the top of the 
clapper and
> the inside of the bell

I always thought it was the silly little chap in Blackadder myself!

Originally a 'baldrick' was a leather strap which suspended the 
clapper.   It was looped through the cast-in crown staple and  
the 'stirrup' end of the clapper and fastened together with a buckle.   

Later a  wooden stick known as a 'busk board' was added to give extra 
rigidity to the joint.   This board was fixed at the top end with a key-
bolt and washer to a leather-lined iron baldrick, the centre of which 
contained a block of wood.   The bottom end of the busk board was tied 
to the stem of the clapper about half-way down.

In my haste (busy packing to fly back to Perth tomorrow!), I'm not sure 
that I have described this very well, but, for those interested, 
excellent drawings of the development of this type of clapper fastening 
can be found on page 240 of George Elphick's Sussex Bells and Belfries.



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