[Bell Historians] recovered church bell

Peter Rivet peter at v9UE97iXk_aoZEkN4Gd2wUdqjwRUN-D138J5hOTTIb1s9z_caW07lotIZdGeI7zOMHeZVt8N84IHvKgoxg.yahoo.invalid
Wed Apr 6 09:39:23 BST 2011

Perhaps there's scope for somebody to act as a Police liaison officer,
identifying stolen bells?


  -----Original Message-----
  From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
[mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Chris Pickford
  Sent: 06 April 2011 09:14
  To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
  Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] recovered church bell

  The case I mentioned, if correctly reported, really doesn't reflect at all
well on Police powers of observation and detection. The notice actually

  Above the central branch of the E, which forms the main staircase of the
new wing, a belfry was added whose bell carried the elaborately moulded
inscription: CHARLES STANFORD ESQUIRE – ELENOR – 1610.  Elenor was John
Alderford's daughter, who brought the Hall for her husband, Charles Stanford
on Alderford's death in 1606. The dating of the bell in 1610 possibly marked
the completion of the new wing begun in 1602. For nearly 4 centuries the
bell hung in its belfry undisturbed. But the old Hall fell on hard times.
The Stanfords died out, and their family home was left unoccupied and
largely deserted. In the 1980s squatters, gypsies and thieves stripped the
building of everything remaining of value, and the last act of vandalism was
the theft of the bell itself in June 1987. In July 1987 Charter Hotels Ltd,
a family company spent two years restoring the Hall to its former beauty and
grace. The forlorn empty belfry was given a new brass bell, filling the void
but without the history of romance of the original. Then in 1989, when the
renovated building was opened as a hotel, the story of the old bell took a
strange twist. A neighbour reported that it had been sold by auction in
Stratford, offered for sale not by the thief, but by the Police! It appeared
the thief had been caught quickly. but the Police had been unable to link
the bell, which they found among his assorted loot. The neighbour had
immediately recognised the bell and its message, but the Police claimed they
had not even noticed it carried one. Charter Hotels traced the bells
purchaser, bought it back, and restored it to its ancestral home. It now has
a proud place in the reception lounge, where guests can admire its striking
inscription and reflect on its romantic history.

  Peter is right, and the Heritage Protection team can't be experts at
everything - but we might hope they make use of any clues that are
available. Unless part of the plan is to sell off unclaimed stuff to pay for
the scheme!

  Cynical? Yes, I'm afraid so


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