Saffron Walden.

Jim Phillips jim.phillipse9ox at
Sat Mar 18 10:33:21 GMT 2006

I recently purchased from a charity shop a book entitled
Saffron Walden in old photographs (published 1980).  I was
attracted to the book by several photographs of some of the
bells and a family photo of the Pitstow family including
Nathan.  One of the photographs shows four of the bells on
a horse drawn Great Eastern Railway cart.  The four have
cast iron RSJ headstocks of the 'Bowells' of Ipswich type. 
There is also another bell minus headstock on the cart. 
The caption reads - "four new bells to be hung in the
church belfry to make up a peal of twelve.  The bells were
hung and dedicated 27 June 1914.  The fifth bell was being
returned after making good a defect."

Two further different photographs on another page show the
four bells on the church steps complete with their RSJ
headstocks.  The first shows two bells on one church step
and two on a lower step.  This photo also shows some of the
ringers plus the clergy and refers to the four additional
bells to make up the peal to twelve and the dedication date
of 27th June 1914.
On the same page as the above is yet another photo of four
bells on RSJ headstocks but all on the same church step and
includes such worthy ringers as F E Dench but a different
vicar to the one in the above photo.  The caption also
reads ' dedication of the four new treble bells 15 December

My questions are:-
1.  Were the four new trebles by Bowells and if so did they
have the wooden shafted clappers that Bowells were fitting.
 Is the dedication date of 27th june 1914 correct?
Was the 5th bell on the cart retuned or what was the

2.  Why were the four new bells dedicated again on the 15
December 1928?  What really went on?  Were the trebles of
the 1914 dedication unsatisfactory in some way or another ?

I can find very little about the bells of the magnificent
church at Saffron Walden and some of the other magnificent
Essex churches such as Thaxted (apart from the G&J job.) 
Is there no book on the bells of Essex?


More information about the Bell-historians mailing list