[Bell Historians] Fort William

Alan Ellis alan_ellis at hIoVldvedGKQl0Dsr3jNO3hOIudhPAwNKTYwSXIbzL3CzbPyu-vVd1ynv_DYgb1J_mTL7d5mquhtW3LY1_ff.yahoo.invalid
Wed Mar 24 20:53:21 GMT 2010

Hello Bryan, 

This is interesting because the clavier for the Taylor 42 cwt chime in 
St. James (Anglican) church in Vancouver is also located immediately 
beneath the bells.  It is surrounded by walls and ceiling of what we 
know as 'ten test' for sound control inside the room. 

Someone had written out a course of Stedman Triples in music format, 
which my wife played.  Sounded great on that 42 cwt 8.

At St. James, there is also an automated chiming system, fed from the 
player-piano style equipment behind the choir.   This system uses 
electro-pneumatic connections between  player and belfry.

Thanks for your info.

Alan Ellis
Vancouver BC

Bryan McCahey wrote:

> The 8 bell chime in Fort William is indeed at St. Mary's RC Church to 
> the east of the town. I did a knock-knock there when on holiday in 
> 1995. The parish priest gave me the tower key and was very happy for 
> me to explore unaccompanied. There was an old people's home 
> immediately next door so he asked me to ring only for a few minutes, 
> which I duly did! They were a magnificent Taylor chime of 24 cwts in 
> D, contemporary with the church (1930s, I think). The tower is massive 
> and rises above the sanctuary at the east end. Access was from a 
> prominent stair turret in the north west corner of the tower, accessed 
> from the rather elaborate sanctuary.
> I seem to remember quite an impressive painted ceiling below the tower 
> a la Buckfast, but might be wrong here. The church itself has an 
> impressive parabolic vaulted roof to the nave and is reminscent, 
> inside, of a 1930s art deco cinema. Because the tower is so squat, 
> there is no ringing room. Consequently the baton clavier is attached 
> to one side of the bell frame itself with no sound-proofing cabin for 
> protection.  Why the chiming appratus was not positioned at 
> ground-level is unclear. Perhaps for aesthetic reasons?  The noise 
> from the clavier was understandably deafening and it was just as well 
> I only rang a few hymn tunes and some plain hunt! Probably because of 
> the unsatisfactory ringing arrangements (and possibly complaints from 
> the home next door) the bells were not rung very often. The 
> installation was in good order though and the bellchamber very clean 
> and well maintained. The small louvres are in rows of four 
> round-headed arches on each side. An unusual feature was that some 
> were hinged for opening. Several were ajar, I think.
> Bryan McCahey
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: Richard Smith <richard at 9EfpWzdVuZwAj9iDP6WK_lXiXbREp0yv2qlj9KUPAcEH0mlt5iVAGXHpr7xJzG6plgC6ggZ4iF7Z5f3HM9lDYA.yahoo.invalid>
> To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Wed, March 24, 2010 11:21:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Fort William
> Mike wrote:
> > I have been asked for information about the bells at St
> > Mary's Church, Fort William. Can anyone help? Is this the
> > R.C. church, perhaps?
> Dove claims the unringable four are in St Andrew's, which is
> the dedication of the Episcopal church there. The Catholic
> church is dedicated to St Mary. From memory, there are four
> churches in Fort William with towers that look substantial
> enough to house a light four, and it's possible that one of
> the others may be dedicated to St Andrew too.

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