Saffron Walden.

Richard Offen richard at
Mon Mar 20 00:02:02 GMT 2006

--- In bellhistorians at, Jim Phillips 
<jim.phillipse9ox at ...> wrote:
> 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
> 1928'.
> 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.

As far as I am aware, Alfred Bowell never made wooden shafted 
clappers.   His standard form of pivot for clappers was a split 
timber block, which was clamped around a standard 't-headed' wrought-
iron clapper.   Like most of Alfred's ideas, his clapper suspension 
system was ingenious and worked well, as the many of his jobs still 
giving good service testify.



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