[Bell Historians] Frederick Ouseley and St Barnabas Pimlico

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at PhA4zvLuaUPMRMWhL0l3oGCPTnCmSNpxje_OlQpoQ6mC3cw7U_bM9ItllaRpFgdXzpNzxXAQxfgAJgi2MxMbk71YU3DB.yahoo.invalid
Tue Apr 5 22:03:18 BST 2011

Having spent five years of my school life as a boarder at St.Michael's Tenbury (from the age of eight to thirteen), I'm quite sure that my tastes and interests in architecture, music and churchmanship all owe quite a lot to Ouseley! St.Michael's has been described as a Tractarian dream, and its school buildings and church (Henry Woodyer 1854-6) remain largely intact - although the school closed some 20 years ago. 

Ouseley was indeed caught up in anti-ritualist riots in Pimlico. There's more about it in David Bland's book "Ouseley and his Angels: The Life of St.Michael's College, Tenbury, and its Founder" (2000) - a good read for anyone interested in the subject

Sadly, St.Michael's never had bells - just two early Warner tinklers (1855 and 1856) in openings in the west front. They were rehung by Bill Berry in 2008, one to swing chime and the other to sound with a trigger-action clapper. There's a horrendous ladder for anyone who really wants to see the bells close to - I don't recommend it! Later in the C19th the Arts & Crafts architect C.E. Mallows published designs for a separate bell tower, but it was never built. Later still, in 1923, an old boy gave two bells (G&J 1900 - 8 and 12 cwt) that had been cast for Pietermaritzburg Cathedral in South Africa, but never sent - probably because of the Boer War. They were sold to Taylors for scrap, and the proceeds used to pay for two oak screens around the organ.

Changing period completely, list members may like to be aware of a new book just out - Terry Friedman's monumental study of The Eighteenth-Century Church in Britain (Yale, 2011). It's 790 pages - packed with quality illustrations (739 in all) - plus a further 600 pages of information on a CD-ROM. It features all major churches of the period all over Britain, including many of the London towers with rings, and a huge amount of source material (especially on the CD) not previously published. A really superb book - not cheap (£60), but a mine of information and interest

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