[Bell Historians]Bristol ( was French) clocks.

David Cawley dave at UH3mTg3UZCORNvfhhPXvn1IjLCnaTL02N86ibXScJ2qYt_dC2aB1hNrWJKG-z0S3FspuUXnMUaYSysnp03zw-HBq9tM.yahoo.invalid
Tue Oct 30 13:01:32 GMT 2007

No, Bristol Exchange (not Town Hall) clock does not strike at all - it has no bells. Nor does the old Guildhall (in Broad Street) nor the old Council House (in Corn Street), but they are made up for by the three clock bells at Christ Church, adjacent, whose quarters include two fine "jacks". The Exchange clock does indeed retain its extra minute hand (painted red) for Bristol Time; and what it lacks in bells it makes up for outside with the four fine 18th century inscribed bronze "Nails", i.e. pillared circular tables where you paid "on the Nail". The work of an accomplished founder.

The modern Council House of 1937 does not need bells - on one side is the Cathedral with its ting-tang and hour struck on three of that interesting ancient chime of four in the Central Tower; and on the other side, up the hill, audible for miles the resonant Eb of "Great George" (JT 1925).


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Frank King 
  To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com 
  Cc: Frank.King at zH5t3mTyZekUjSxNhZT9uzys8pOLL4tyCm-fC0y2ftTaKk4N2RdagUl7cjZsLlGhDX3Y0jikhVhU9u1VQzc.yahoo.invalid 
  Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:17 AM
  Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] French clocks.

  > Why is it that some French clocks strike the
  > hour twice?

  I don't think there is anything special about
  the clocks being French. Clocks that strike
  twice are not common but are not confined to

  A well-known English example is the clock of
  Great Court in Trinity College, Cambridge.
  This is well known because of the associated
  challenge: Can you run round Great Court in
  less time than it takes the clock to chime
  and strike 12? You are allowed to include
  both lots of striking.

  [I tried it at midnight once with two other
  ringers. I came second, about two yards
  behind the winner who was about 30 yards
  short of completing the run on the last
  stroke of the second lot of 12.]

  The explanation for the this clock striking
  twice relates to one of the many livings that
  Trinity is responsible for. The relevant
  Church has a clock that Trinity took as the
  model for its own clock. In perpetual
  acknowledgement of this, the Trinity clock
  strikes ones for Trinity and once for the
  other Church.

  The Trinity clock has four trains. As well
  as the going train and the chiming train there
  are two separate striking trains. This means
  four lots of weights to wind and the winding
  is still done by hand twice a week. One of
  the College Engineering Fellows is entrusted
  with this task.

  In Italy, many clocks strike after each quarter
  so you know which hour you are in. Such clocks
  therefore strike four times each hour.

  I suspect that there are almost as many
  explanations for clocks striking more than
  once per hour as there are such clocks. The
  Town Hall clock in Bristol has two long hands,
  one for indicating Bristol time and one for
  indicating new-fangled Railway Time. I don't
  know whether the clock strikes twice but that
  would be another possible excuse.

  Frank H. King
  The University Bellringer
  Cambridge, U.K.

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