Mumbai, St John, Colaba bells
george at K2o-TxnWvQB55m8AxwbfTZ_SFU5cVANkFzxcyMP8pKlN9Bc3jUyIrByptgPQqRz2kOrqAtUU6xplQFBzfNrAOQJNCOVSJC0.yahoo.invalid
Wed Nov 21 09:01:11 GMT 2007
Here is the text of the RW article I wrote some years ago:
St. John. COLABA.
When I wrote about the bells of the Indian sub-continent, I did not realise
that there was a ringer
living in Bombay. Chris Birkby, my son Matthew's godfather, and family had
literally just moved
from Stratford on Avon there for a three year contract. He had already
looked at a couple of
churches, but not Colaba. After a phone call to me he eventually made his
way there with a digital
camera and sent me the results on a CD.
These photos show the eight bells in a two tier frame, seven below in
H-frames, and the third
above in a low sided cast iron frame. The bells have headstocks, gudgeons
and plain bearings
with Heywood lubricators, but no clappers, wheels or pulleys. There is an
Ellacombe style chiming
apparatus from below. Indeed it would appear that the clappers were never
fitted as the hanging
hooks still occupy the crown staple holes in the crowns of some bells.
Below there is a more recent steel supporting framework, presumably because
the steel frame-
ends had corroded where they enter the walls, but this needs checking. Also
one bell would
appear to be cracked.
So were clappers, wheels, etc. provided? The documentary evidence suggests
they were. So
what happened to them? A chance observation by Colin Banton of Taylors had
given us the clue.
He found a copy of a letter to the Chaplain of Colaba:
Jany. 22nd 1904
We have much pleasure in replying to your letter in reference to the peal of
bells sent to Colaba.
There is an Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus, the various parts of which will be
found in the boxes.
Everything has been marked clearly as possible so that with the plans and
photographs sent we
do not think there will be any difficulty in erecting the bells in the
tower. We send you by this mail
some books on Change ringing. It is difficult to learn from books and if
there are any soldiers who
have been accustomed to it in England we are sure you would find them of
[The letter then goes on to explain there is little published on chiming and
gives a list of
tunes in Hymns Ancient and Modern which can be played on eight bells].
Enclosed when the letter
was sent were copies of Troyte and Ropesight.
So it would appear that a full set of fittings were sent, but no bellhanger.
The locals clearly did
not understand how to fit the wheels etc, and so left them, but got the
chiming apparatus working
later. Where are they now? In the cellars or church hall?
So Colaba are unringable as they stand, indeed they have never been rung
full-circle. But how
much D-I-Y to get them going? Anyone interested?
The inscription books at Taylors record the inscriptions, and reveal that
either the donor, Sir
Charles Cayzer, or someone at the foundry had a sense of humour:
On all bells:
JOHN TAYLOR & CO * FOUNDERS * LOUGHBOROUGH * LEICESTERSHIRE * ENGLAND *
except the treble which is now dated 1914.
On the waist of each bell:
Treble: TELL IT OUT AMONG THE HEATHEN
THAT THE LORD IS KING
2: LET EARTH, AND SEA, AND SKY
FROM DEPTH TO HEIGHT REPLY,
MAY JESUS CHRIST BE PRAISED
3: WE GIVE THANKS TO THEE FOR THY
GREAT GLORY, 0 LORD GOD,
HEAVENLY KING, GOD THE FATHER
4: WE WORSHIP THEE, WE GLORIFY THEE.
5: WE PRAISE THEE, WE BLESS THEE.
6: GLORY TO GOD ON HIGH, AND IN
EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARDS MEN.
7: WHENE'ER THE SWEET CHURCH BELL
PEALS OVER HILL AND DELL,
MAY JESUS CHRIST BE PRAISED:
0 HARK WHAT IT SINGS,
AS JOYOUSLY IT RINGS,
MAY JESUS CHRIST BE PRAISED.
Tenor: ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, COLABA, BOMBAY.
(AFGHAN MEMORIAL CHURCH)
TO THE GLORY OF GOD.
THIS PEAL OF EIGHT BELLS WAS PRESENTED TO
THIS CHURCH BY SIR CHARLES CAYZER, M.P., A
FORMER RESIDENT OF COLABA, NOW OF GARTMORE,
PERTHSHIRE, SCOTLAND, DURING THE EPISCOPATE OF
THE RIGHT REVND JAMES MACARTHUR, D.D., AND
THE INCUMBENCY OF THE REVD H. T. H. ROUNTREE,
CHAPLAIN. EASTER 1903.
THUS EVERMORE SHALL RISE TO THEE
GLAD HYMNS OF PRAISE FROM LAND AND SEA.
From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com [mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Ted Steele
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 4:19 PM
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Bell Historians] Mumbai bells, was Bells in Shimla
I mentioned in a recent enquiry to another list that I have been looking at
my old copy of Rope-Sight, 4th edition dated
1891. This has now raised another query. John Taylor's advertisement lists
various peals, among them "Bombay University Buildings, a peal of 16, weight
of tenor, 49cwts". This reminded me of the recent enquiry on this list about
Shimla. I have tried to find some mention of the Mumbai bells on the
internet but without success. I did find mention of the bells at St John the
Evangelist in Mumbai and two interesting links. These bells (8. 14cwt) were
shown in Dove as being unringable due to the tower being unstable, and the
fittings stored in the belfry. Does anyone know what became of them? The
article in the wiki states that the bells are Taylors of 1904 and says they
are regarded as the best in western India, although I imagine there may not
be much competition. The other link leads to an article that suggests the
writer has some limited awareness of change ringing, but whether this is
significant is impossible to say. This article appears to be the main source
for the wiki entry.
09040800 at dBuc6mUEBJGZVNS81pHCN_jben3Q6zHU8C7aCNq6luXUbpBs71VPQlTU8p7SCbRHahYBpitro8NSJw.yahoo.invalid>
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