Response from Dr. Mike Baron to recent 'List' emails re Eastry 'Sanctus' Bell.

michael baron mike.baron at
Fri Jul 27 16:20:27 BST 2007


For over a year now, as a retirement project, I have been researching, both the history of Eastry Old School (where I live), and the origins & founder of the interesting Old School bell. After reading some details of these recorded by the Rev. Shaw (1870) in his book on Eastry, I discovered that the bell still existed and that it had been examined some 40 years ago by David Cawley & the now-deceased, bell historian, Ranald Clouston. The local Rector, Frank Kent, gave me permission to access & record the bell and I employed the services of both a professional photographer & a professional calligrapher to record in detail, both the bell & it's inscription. It was, and still is, my intention to continue my researches into the Old School & it's bell, until I finish both to my satisfaction, and then to publish a book (probably entitled, 'The Histories of Eastry Old School and it's 14th. Century Bell').

A couple of weeks ago, after a few email contacts with him, I met The Rev. David Cawley for the first time, during one of his infrequent visits to Kent, and found him to be a most interesting & affable person and an expert bell historian. In friendship and in deference to his & Ranald Clouston's earlier examinations of the bell, I thought that he might like to have a personal copy of some of the recent photographs and my calligrapher's recent rendition of the bell's inscription, in advance of the publication of my research, the date of which, probably, is at least one year away.

Perhaps I was naive, but I didn't think to warn him that the material I gave him should not be pre-published prematurely by anyone, other than by me!
Imagine my feelings when I found that he had put the image on the Bell-Historians web-site and had even suggested to Dickon Love, that he might like to have it for his web-site! 

Next, I consulted a more commercially saavy friend of mine, as to how I should respond to this problem, to be advised that I should waste no time at all in reminding David Cawley of his infringements of my commercial copyright and insist that he should attempt to reverse his actions. When I say 'attempt', I appreciate that an attempted retrieval exercise on the Web is a futile, 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted' exercise,because, once something is out there 'on the Web', it is out there irretrievably. Despite, some List members views, perhapsI am a cynic, but how many copies of this image have now been made surreptitiously by those with access to the Bell Historians' Web-site, contrary to David Cawley's requests?

While I have accepted David Cawley's prompt apology and his explanation that he was only seeking to aid my researches, nevertheless, at the very least, he has decreased the number of potential customers of my intended book amongst the Bell Historian fraternity, the very people most likely to have bought it!  When I wrote to him, I asked him how he would have felt, if someone had acquired important details from his manuscript of his book on the Church Bells of the Channel Islands and had published it prematurely without his permission. Although David has returned the physical material I gave to him (which he need not have done), up to now, he has failed to respond to this foregoing question. At the very least he is culpable for not asking my permission, before putting the material on the Bell Historians' web-site.

Following David's praiseworthy & prompt retraction message to Bell Historians, including his request that the matter should not be discussed further by members, it was interesting for me to watch the 'Moderator' of the Web-site, & two others List members, ignoring David Cawley's request for silence, and airing their half-baked 'opinions'. One of these List members (he knows who he is) volunteered the 'information' that some Members were happy to put their lifetimes' work on bells on the Web! What rot! You can see George Dawson, David Cawley, John Eisel, Dr. Ketteringham, and other authors of 'Church Bells of County X ' books putting all their lifetimes' work on the Web for free, can't you ? I don't think so!

I wish to thank Richard Offen personally, & in 'public' for reminding List Members of David Cawley's request for List email silence, on the matter of the Eastry 'Sanctus' (School) Bell. I felt sorry for him, when David Bryant reminded him in a petulant, 'prima donna', manner, just who was the Moderator and who had the right to say what is and isn't allowed!

We will now all see just how fair your Moderator is and I challenge him to publish my email, in full, on the Bell Historians' Web-Site.

Yours truly

Dr. Mike Baron.           
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