[Bell Historians] Re: Radial Frames

Richard Offen richard.offen at UR34t7oHx6OZL5R3iJXvMi9BQtBq2N231QmPgR8rDfAmQB-LIgkS9Y5Kr1YMq7RfaEU-9rglqMrqQoOnu7Dc1aYNmC4.yahoo.invalid
Mon Dec 25 23:49:18 GMT 2006

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "David Bryant" <davidbryant at ...>
> > Was Liverpool Anglican Cathedral the first?
> I believe Liverpool was the first, and so far as I am aware it is the
> one (and indeed the only bell frame anywhere) to be made entirely of
> concrete - other radial frames, such as Washington Cathedral, consist
> steel or iron framesides and joining plates on a concrete foundation.

Liverpool was indeed the first radial frame, the notion for the design
being one of Douglas Hughes' and was designed in the 1930s, but not
carried out until after WWII.

> Standard radial frames (in so far as there can be a standard, there
> so few of them) are of the lowside type in that the bearings are
mounted on
> the top members of the frameside units. In order to add another tier,
> would be necessary to replace these with H-type units so that a
> lowside tier could be constructed on top.

Why do you need to have 'H' pattern framesides?   There are other ways
of builing up a second tier using structural steel - as can been seen in
many towers with conventional bell frames (see flat sixth at St Chad's
Shrewsbury for instance).

It would probably also be
> necessary to brace the upper tier down to the floor of the walls in
> way. Whilst this might work, it wouldn't be a very elegant design and
> pose difficulties in getting a decent circle, thereby obviating one of
> main advantages of a radial frame.

What about putting the wheel on the opposite side of the upper bell to
the one below?   Still maintains the perfect circle!

The main advantage of a radial frame is not only the elegant rope
circle, but also that it minimises the effect of the horizontal forces
on the tower generated by the bells.

I suppose it might also be possible to
> construct individual lowside metal frames next to or within the radial
> frame, but again this would be a very messy solution. I believe that
> was consideration given to augmenting the bells at Washington
cathedral to
> 12 plus a flat 6th, involving completely dismantling the frame and
> it (the joining plates would presumably all need to be replaced as the
> angles would be wrong). I don't know whether this plan is still under
> consideration - I believe we have at least one Washington ringer on
> list who will doubtless know.

Yes, the plan is to reassemble the Washington frame with different
angled spacer plates between the pits to facilitate the addition of two
trebles (as far as I am aware Alan, there are no plans to change the
concrete substructure to facilitate this).   However the flat sixth and
extra treble are to be hung in conventional frames inside the circle of
the radial frame.

Why do you consider this to be so messy David?   The plans I saw looked
very neat and workmanlike!
> Basically, radial frames are only a good idea if the bells are never
> to be augmented - in practice this generally means that unless the
ring is
> of 12, and either has at least one semitone or is very light, a radial
> may not be the best answer (unless empty pits are left), as it could
> preclude or at least make very difficult any future augmentation.

Provided there is enough space in the tower, it is no more difficult to
change a radial frame than it is to redesign many conventional frames to
accommodate extra bells.


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