[Bell Historians] Oatlands Park, Surrey

David Cawley dave at zZNV8c68Oln0IK_a2y9Eb_v-VWKWhiIoNSAUlx-dTOY-ZOsH7gF9YzVuSSjt8Z5owi-2aLqQlvqgXfnx-6f0UJqPGmRfpA.yahoo.invalid
Thu Jan 8 12:19:24 GMT 2009

Regarding the Durbar in India. No, it was not cancelled owing to the death of Edward VII; indeed, it was not cancelled at all. George V ascended to the Throne in May 1910 following the death of Edward VII. He was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 22nd 1911. The decision to hold a Durbar in India was his own, and it duly took place in December 1911. A reminder of the occasion is to be seen amongst the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, the Crown of India - made especially for the occasion as the English Crown Jewels may not leave the country.

One feels that the bells would not have borne the "Cast in the first year of the reign of George V" inscription if the Durbar had originally been intended for Edward VII. William Shepherd's article, that they had been intended for the Durbar, but that this arangement (i.e. the bells, not the Durbar) was cancelled, seems to me to be more likely.

I have a picture of bells being tuned at Warner's "for the British Empire Exhibition", and there is nothing about the Durbar at all.

Happy New Year!


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chris Pickford 
  To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 9:01 AM
  Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Oatlands Park, Surrey

  Can offer these snippets from the sources noted:

  Article by William Shepherd in Ringing World 1 May 1953 p.286 - bells all dated 1911, but not installed until March 1913. Bells had been on display at the Festival of Empire at Crystal Palace in 1911, where they were played by well-known London ringer Fred Newman. Intended to be sent to India for the Durbar, but this arrangement was cancelled and the bells were conveyed instead to the Olympia where they played a part in Max Reinhart's famous spectacle, 'The Miracle'. Warners had many offers for them (including one from a nobleman who wanted them for his mansion in Scotland), but Warners stuck to their original offer of first refusal on them to Oatlands. All inscribed "Cast in the first year of the reign of King George V. 1911". The tenor is 12-0-12 in G.

  Report of dedication in Ringing World 7 March 1913 p.168 - bells cast in 1911 and dedicated on 2 March 1913

  Oatlands is in the eastern side of Weybridge. Ring of eight in a tower built in 1911. Bells cast by Warners for the celebration of the Durbar of 1911 in India, but the event was cancelled owing to the death of King Edward VII. The bells were exhibited at the Empire Festival at Crystal Palace and, when the original commission fell through, Oatlands was given the first refusal on the bells. They were dedicated on 2 March 1913 (Morgan and Schupke Towers and Bells Around Guildford (1999) p.54 and notices in the tower)

  I haven't tried the Bell News CD, but it would be worth looking for a report. The 1953 article would also be worth a closer look (I've only summarised the details here)


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