[Bell Historians] FW: Listed bells, why are they listed?

David Cawley dave at A37PaZLcSqFfV4I3QLc9Mk7W0ByiFcpORHT6bWUHBn3UASPq0JzcPNEe003KefV0ROTWC0kPNqRY6Pz96AAadGlpmRfL.yahoo.invalid
Tue May 15 22:27:13 BST 2007

The Church is St Katherine Cree in the City of London.

In the 1990's I inspected these as part of research in connection with the CCC's London Diocesan List of Bells for Preservation. I was at that time a member of the CCC Bells Committee. I had been charged at that time to draw up a provisional list for London (City) and Westminster.

The frame, like the front 5 bells, is of 1754, and not as Mr Bickerton says a "typical T Mears 2 shoe-horned in and much cut about frame". Whether or not it was "subject to more butchery at a later date" I do not know; but there is nothing about that in the invoice for recasting the Tenor (T Mears 1842) or for adapting the bells for chiming (Mears & Stainbank 1911). Apart from ascribing them to Thomas Lester instead of Lester & Pack, the whole history is excellently presented on Lovesguide http://london.lovesguide.com/katherine_cree.htm 

The question is asked, why list the bells? Granted at the time, 1990,they were not being used in any way at all, and were felt to be at risk, the six Lester & Pack bells (1-5 and clock bell) were in my view significant as an almost complete installation; the only change being the recasting of the tenor. They are, in fact, after St Bart's, the oldest (almost) complete ring in the City. St Andrew Undershaft (6) are older, four being by Robert Mot, one by Bryan Eldridge and one by Anthony Bartlet, so even less complete - but all listed, and, alas, now hung dead.

The St Katherine Cree bells are not listed because they are by Lester & Pack, but because they are an almost complete installation by them in an area (the City) where there are no other contemporary complete or nearly complete installations. 

There are four bells by Lester, 1744  and three by L&P 1764 at Aldgate, the fifth, seventh and tenor of eight, which have tuned up very well. There are three Thomas Lester bells in the present twelve at Cornhill, the two trebles recast in 1746 and the 8th recast in 1740, which are not the best examples, and were installed piecemeal. Like Aldgate, they have lost their canons. None of these ten Lester or Lester & Pack bells are listed. 

There is every reason to believe that St Katherine Cree would benefit from being tuned as a ring, which listing does not by any means preclude. They do retain their canons, and listing would anticipate their retention.

In this tiny tower, with space at such a premium, it might not be possible to retain the 1754 frame if a major rehang were contemplated; and, as at St Magnus, preservation by recording should be sufficient. It is interesting rather than significant. It is not listed.

My views expressed here are my own and not those of the CCC, of whose Bells Committee I ceased to be a member a year ago. Having (with GAD) been on since 1975, we thought we were going to be listed :)


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bickerton, Roderic K (SELEX) (UK) 
  To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 5:02 PM
  Subject: [Bell Historians] FW: Listed bells, why are they listed?

  why are they listed?
  I asked this of George, and am now throwing it open. I am not
  criticizing George, he is probably to busy to answer me more fully.
  Perhaps I need to provide more information. They are in a typical T
  Mears 2 shoe horned in and much cut about frame, subject to more
  butchery at a later date.
  I hope this can go!

  I was a bit surprised to see them listed. Not a complete ring. 
  3 is a real brute and would have to be retired if it could not, or not
  be allowed to be tuned. The others would not need to much doing.
  I have been advised the T Mears 2 tenor would probably tune down quite
  well, it is nearly a semi sharp. 

  Would you be able to guess why they would be listed?
  "No idea. GAD"

  1 of 6 27.25 1754 Lester &
  Pack, Whitechapel 
  2 of 6 29 1754 Lester &
  Pack, Whitechapel 
  3 of 6 30.75 1754 Lester &
  Pack, Whitechapel 
  4 of 6 32 1754 Lester &
  Pack, Whitechapel 
  5 of 6 35.5 1754 Lester &
  Pack, Whitechapel 
  Clock 24.81 1754
  Lester & Pack, Whitechapel
  I did not collect this information. 

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