Oldest fittings

John David johnedavid at AHkcgtLwN6VTXzP0wx8TlIecQ8LOb_OAiFgCWKuFFrvoTLKpaizh_KGIlP0cJn5GLBnuNc2JEI5DKiSQYRJe6g.yahoo.invalid
Tue Aug 14 20:03:24 BST 2007

Re St Peter Port

David does not make clear that the 1913 Villedieu bells were hung up on the 
old headstocks, apparently reusing some of the ironwork and even the 
clappers of the previous bells - no alterations were made to the frame, 
rollers, etc, but four of the sliders had to be replaced with longitudinal 
timber ones (not metal, as has been reported at times) because of the way 
the chiming hammers were installed. The bearings had probably been renewed 
in 1870.
No firm date can be assigned to the frame. It appears (since no sign of 
alterations could be found) to have been made for the 1736 bells, and the 
wheels were made as large as they could be to fit the frame.
However the time between the last recorded ringing (July 10th, 1736) before 
recasting (in August)  and the first recorded ringing after (October 12th) 
seems rather short for the installation of a new frame, the decision to 
recast having only been taken on May 19th "one of the bells cracked, and the 
mounings of all being decayed and ruinous" - which does not necessarily mean 
that the frame was unsound - considerable but unspecified work had been done 
in the 1670s.
Recasting cost 766livres, and there was an amount of 253 livres for 
unspecified miscallaneous expenses in connection with the recasting of the 
bells and the clock bell - no mention of the frame.

Another date when the frame could have been built - though once again there 
is no mention of it in the churchwarden's accounts - was in 1783 when a new 
clock iwas installed. To accomodate it the original clock room floor was 
raised by some six feet, and supporting it in its new position re-used 
timber included what appeared to pieces of frame head with bearing slots. At 
the same time it is probable that the ringers moved down from the original 
clock room floor to their present position.

The other time when it is possible that the frame was constructed is in the 
early 19th century, at the time of the great restoration in 1822-4. 
Certainly the quality of the work might indicate this date. However once 
again there is no mention of work on the bells and the accouts for the 
restoration are missing.

However, it can safely be siad that when the 1913 bells were last rung 
considerable parts of the installation were of considerable, if uncertain, 

John David

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