[Bell Historians] Daily Telegraph letter

Bickerton, Roderic (SELEX GALILEO, UK) Roderic.Bickerton at C0gWVtRDf73YFkeqrA8HrFsadE1KWVyaTl-fZfBGa4ej8vPNU9ThG_UY-3wDxvOdJP1zHQDdxjovie9fpZg6PH4Csyo5DTPIKQ.yahoo.invalid
Mon Oct 26 09:27:26 GMT 2009

I do not like the letter because it is factually incorrect.
there are a fair number of examples of "preserved rings" around.
Churches are inspected and collapse is prevented.
The sad site meeting the very rare visitor is one of bells in there pits
there mouths resting on timbers taking the load off decayed framework
and fittings, the whole supported on underpinning beams, the original
frame supports having long since rotted where they enter the tower
Nothing destroyed, historically complete, and utterly useless.
Sometimes the utter stupidity of the situation is underlined when you
find out that because of H&S the only person ever allowed up to see the
mess is the church architect, which does beg the question as to who the
preservation is for.

From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
[mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Richard Offen
Sent: 22 October 2009 15:15
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Daily Telegraph letter

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The following has just gone off to the Telegraph:


The English Heritage document, 'Conservation Principles Policies and
Guidance for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment'

"Our definition of conservation includes the objective of sustaining
heritage values. In managing significant places, 'to preserve', even
accepting its established legal definition of 'to do no harm', is only
one aspect of what is needed to sustain heritage values."

Church bells were designed to be rung, yes rung, not left mute like
exhibits in a museum case.   The very act of rendering bells silent by
the insistence of the retention of worn out and sometime dangerous
fittings and bell frames is to totally disregard every other aspect of
the heritage value of church bells.

Philip Venning's comparison with a vintage car is a total red herring.
I cannot think of many vintage car owners who use their vehicles for
their weekly trip to the supermarket.   It is not the blindest bit of
good bell ringers ringing the bells in a neighbouring village church to
summon people to church in their own village.

If bells aren't used they become forgotten and left to fester high up in
a tower.   Eventually the bell frame gives up the unequal battle of
supporting the bells it contains and collapses, causing considerable
damage to both the tower fabric and historically significant bells.
Then who has won?

Yours etc.,

Richard Offen

Captain of the Bell Ringers

The Bell Tower


Western Australia


From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
[mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Lewis
Sent: Thursday, 22 October 2009 9:58 PM
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Daily Telegraph letter


At 14:24 22/10/2009, Richard Offen wrote:

>I hope someone is going to reply to this incredibly crass piece of 
>correspondence. I know that one of the ringers in Hobart has 
>already sent an e-mail letter to the Telegraph.

I hope so too - but I don't think it will be me. I doubt that they 
would publish two letters from the same individual within the space 
of a couple of weeks. The response needs to be short and pithy in my 
view (more chance of getting published that way as well).

Maybe you are the man for this task Richard!


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