Bill Hibbert bill at lhb8-VFiGJguPsYB9ZnBkGCHSXxsahoiBQ4fM3ceoB-n3am86SEQJK5QJyxHp3nqK0m4gl3tSfuv7KU.yahoo.invalid
Fri Nov 23 23:18:06 GMT 2007

I was driving through Mirfield the other day, as you do, and stopped at 
St Mary's for a ring. They are interesting, anyone who has not been 
should go.

The frame is timber, supported on large timber angle braces down to 
stone corbels. It reminded me of the old frame at Kidderminster (and of 
the roof timbers in the St Pancras hotel which I saw the other day). It 
seems a solid installation, certainly I couldn't see much movement 
while the back six were ringing, though I was at the opposite corner to 
the tenors. I didn't hear the bells outside; the louvres are large and 
the bells are above the cills. I can imagine they shout down into the 
churchyard in quite a horrid way.

I didn't look at all the bells closely but the ones I saw had angle 
canons and nicely formed inscriptions. They are still on timber 
headstocks. The clappering of the bells is weird, the sixth double 
clappers dramatically, the tenor is slow at both strokes, and its 
clapper sits on the bell and deadens its tone. It needs a wooden one! 
All the bells are hard to strike and ring well, not helped (for us 
southerners) by the Yorkshire tufts.

Tonally the bells are better than I expected, but spoilt by the 
clappers. The back six sounded rather fine dropped in peal, i.e. once 
the clappers were off the bells. In the back six, all the primes were 
slightly sharp, though of course they go off in the front four. The 
hums are good for the date, certainly better than Mears. The nominals 
are well in tune - there is a little bit of stretch (17 cents in the 
octave). I believe the treble was flattened some while ago. It would 
have been quite sharp before, but has been tuned too low and now sounds 
a bit flat.

The Grimthorp effect is clear from the upper partials, which are quite 
low. The partials of the back bells are very similar to the Wells 
tenors. I couldn't hear anything in the tower, or see anything in the 
tuning figures, to suggest that Grimthorp had done any harm - quite the 
contrary, the back bells are much better than Dunham.

My feeling is that if they were rehung (possibly in the old frame if it 
is strong enough), and the louvres bricked up at least to half height, 
they would be rated a good old style peal. I bet they would tune up a 

Bill H


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