[Bell Historians] Mallaby

Bickerton, Roderic K (SELEX) (UK) roderic.bickerton at 0Sh3UQp9qOR7KhNsGeMgkgn0nmffANifJ_TB1MszOwTkvq_EUK-h7DTEPuTbnXiRVxl4rdSS92GN1HD0jLsiFbfhmuKo.yahoo.invalid
Tue May 30 15:18:33 BST 2006

I rate mallaby highley with a caviat or two.
Most bellhangers condemm early frames without much consideration.
Am example of mallaby can be forund at Goodmanhanam where he took on a
very early headless frame (the predecessor of a king post frame),
basically a frameside comprising single upritght supported by two angle
He fitted pull down rods to pull the angle braces into there joints and
hold the frame down.
(It is nearly 2M high)
He fitted bairing plates to the top of the frame heads which are on end
Instead of trying to fit them with screws he fitted them with rods about
300mm long held down from nuts in pockets cut into the uprights.
More than 100 years on, all is still working well and the bells go quite
There is less frame movement than often found in poor low side frames.
There is no gudgeon knock or other frame noise.

Considering the weight of timber used. Many of his instalations still
work reasonably well despite there lack of timber. During his time
bairings were not as softisticated and go was not expected to be to
today's standards.
When bells are rehung in his frames they are enivatably set up on modern
baring blocks raising the bells 150mm from there original position
increasing frame leverage generating horisontal movement about 15%. 
To make bad matters worse there is a "re hang" in one of his frames
where the originsl tye rods have not been touched. The nuts still have
unbroken rust lines and 100 years grime.
I doubt they are still tight.
Many frames are over timbered but still marginal because of poor design
or manufacture.
If the frame is of good design, with well manufactured accurate joints,
and well supported on a decent steel grillage and well held down, it
will be stable with rather less timber than is often used.
An example (not Mallaby).
Upper Clapton frame moved badly and was/is of light and spinally
It was considered in need of replacement, by the original bell hangers.
It is now at Watten at Stone, but properly supported on RSJ's, holding
the same ~14cwt 8.
There is no significant movement, and the bells are popular for peals
despite being of indifferent tone.

Is it not possible that some Mallaby frames are good engineering,
efficient in use of material but simply resting on or poorly tied down
to inadequate foundations, that were inadequate or not replaced at the
time because of factors outside Mallaby's control.

There is a modern example of this problem where a small 6 is in a very
substantial frame which is on only two RSJ's because EH would only allow
4 girder pockets to be cut in two of the tower walls. There is some
movement. It is no problem regarding go or handling but I would not be
supprised if this eventually results in the two foundation beams working
loose, and I would guess that if it takes 50 years the reason for the
foundation design will be blamed on the bell hanger. 


I'm surprised to see Mallaby so highly rated!
They had the good idea of setting frames out for future augmentations as
can be seen in many places, but generally they are too flimsy, the sills
are too thin and braces are often too slight, Kirby Malhams frame was
typical in all respects, and has, of course, now gone.
Their (plain} bearing housings were well thought out as well.



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