Fwd: Perth Carillon

Sam Austin sam0austin at 9NWD3XjK24NiOzhR89IWRZPgH2cr2cq2gkOCy6Ki3pfJ5ktW_bqS4IDtd9HCP5qTxOnhTQ3LhfVFPK0oYZh_.yahoo.invalid
Wed Oct 26 13:00:51 BST 2011

This has just come from the British Carillon Society.



Dear BCS Colleagues,

Ian Cassells has informed me of some very worrying news from Perth.
With his permission, I am broadcasting this news to you all.

The City Council are restoring the automatic playing mechanism to
incorporate a ‘Clock-o-matic’ system, in which a piano-type keyboard
will be installed alongside the Kirk’s organ console. The baton
keyboard is to be disconnected. In my opinion, this effectively
decommissions this instrument as a carillon, in the sense that I
understand it, although I recognise some members have a more liberal
definition of what is a carillon.

However, there is a general consensus that Perth is one of Britain’s
finest instruments of bells, and we are about to lose the ability to
play it in the traditional manner. The work has been contracted to
Gillett and Johnston (by a terrible irony) and is to be completed by
21st November of this year.

This is a great setback, and the Council has failed to recognise the
significance of this instrument, and Ian’s contribution to the
carillon art over so many years. (See the link
to see the degree of misunderstanding).

In May 2009 Ian organised the first carillon festival at Perth, a most
successful event, which lead to some good publicity and communication
between the BCS and the Council. See Newsletter 77 of March 2010 for a
report by myself on the Perth carillon festival, and the
communications between me and several members of the Council, which
included a letter to me (in my capacity then as Secretary) from the
Provost of the Council. At that time, I offered the BCS’ advice to the
Council on any matter pertaining to the carillon, and the advancement
of the carillon culture. Clearly, the Council has not sought advice
from the BCS, or from the local carillonneur in instigating this new

May I ask that the BCS Executive Officers act immediately, decisively
and concertedly to do whatever is necessary to prevent this
potentially disastrous development. I suggest that contact with the
decision-makers in the Council is a clear priority.

Michael Boyd.


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