The Redundant Bells of St Nicholas, Cork - Ringing World Article.

matthewhigby at matthewhigby at
Fri Sep 28 11:26:33 BST 2007

Martin has asked me if I  will forward this to this list. Matthew. 

The Redundant Bells of St Nicholas,  Cork. 
It was towards the end of May that I brought to  the attention of the ringing 
fraternity the plight of the above mentioned bells,  a complete eight by J 
Murphy of Dublin, which the historians and members of the  bell hanging trade 
will realise are quite rare. 
This morning we witnessed the back four of  these bells being loaded onto a 
lorry for their final journey to Taylor’s, Eayre  and Smith, where they are 
likely to meet with a sledgehammer on or very shortly  after their arrival there. 
Although Matthew Higby and Co. have, for the  time being at least, retained 
the front four bells with a view to possibly  reusing them as the back four of 
a light six,  or for augmentations of existing rings,  it is also possible 
that these bells may, too, suffer the same fate as their  larger counterparts.   
Four months have now passed since,  effectively, notice was given regarding 
these bells, and not withstanding the  fact that several enquires have been 
made regarding them, no genuine offers have  been forthcoming.   
I feel that Philip Earis may have had a point  when, at a Central Council 
meeting, he proposed that the redundant bells  committee be disbanded, as, 
surely, this is a case where those entrusted by our  guilds and associations to make 
decisions regarding what should be preserved and  where it should go etc, 
should have been able to act.  If it is the case that this committee  doesn’t 
have funding to rescue such rings, then it is a “toothless tiger”, with  no real 
point to it.   The  Keltek Trust has successfully rescued and re-homed many 
bells, both single and  complete rings, over the years, however, it is not a 
bottomless pit of money,  and having recently acquired a large number of more 
modern bells, have not been  in a position to rescue these.  
A glance at the Central Council accounts,  published annually in the Ringing 
World, will show that it is not exactly  strapped for cash.  The obvious  
thing, to me at least, would be to transfer some of this money to an account  
administered by the redundant bells committee so that when such a situation  
arises, as has done here, this committee is in a position to act, and act  quickly 
if necessary.  As it stands  now, however, the ringing exercise has been let 
Will lessons be learned from this?  Don’t know, but don’t hold your  breath! 
Martin B Hough,  
Lambourn,  Berks.

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