[Bell Historians] W W Starmer

David Cawley davidl.cawley at KYCWEOoZ7ojI3d5g-ththtthxZWfoJdneQRZA-hiaE9qSKn00IhSaTiBy3SNiCEvAFVRkefr-I567VG1k-0Um_yY.yahoo.invalid
Mon Dec 3 17:35:38 GMT 2012

Chris is quite correct about Starmer needing a proper write-up. Some readers may recall my references to him in cnnection with the former ring of three at St John, Eastbourne, in a Christmas Issue of the RW article two or three years ago concerning lost towers along the Sussex Coast.

I have found and in part read at Loughborough an amazing amount of correspondence outwards, largely from E Denison Taylor, which is in the main filed in Taylors' letter books. More importantly there are a number of files which are laden with original letters from WWS. 

What has always fascinated me is the fact that in the midst of his involvement with Taylors (and the mutual respect which grew between EDT and WWS), he became involved in 1919 with the bells of two churches in Tunbridge Wells. At St Peter's, the parish church (where he was organist) the old Warner eight was recast, not by JT & Co but by Gillett & Johnston, and a very good ring they are. Not far away is the impressive tower of St Luke's which contains a chime of eight - approximately the same weight as St Peter's bells, and cast to ringing weights, also by Gillett & Johnston. You can read about both installations on Lovesguide.

In both cases he is described on the tenor bell as CAMPANIS PERITO (bell expert), an appelation also employed on some of the Taylor bells with which he was involved.

>From reading some of the correspondence I get the impression that Starmer was very knowledgeable about his subject and was also a considerable musician.That there was real friendship between him and E D T is confirmed in the cordiality of their letters. Starmer has been portrayed (not least by Jennings) as rather a pompous, self-opinionated figure, largely on the strength of his styling himself "Professor of Campanology" at Birmingham University (he was in fact  Lecturer), but as with most things, the tone of the letters gives another side to the story.

Starmer also got a bad ringing press through his involvement with the Coventry affair, but other correspondence shows him to have respect for change ringing and change ringers, even though his personal interest lay in the world of the carillon.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: c.j.pickford.t21 at mHTorDZLIKHhzrYgj7tVmMwxr-Rzloa72qv43RMzIEz127FczFd_1jV0zF0_OKX3AInJNq4z75NtmolaUGteNnmkjc79R7-E.yahoo.invalid 
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  Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] W W Starmer

  Starmer still needs a proper write up I think, but there's useful stuff in Jennings "master of my art" and maybe in Jill Johnston's book too. Can't check right now as out of the country and sans ordinateur!

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  From: "Andrew Aspland" <aaspland at fF-nz2YNWb-EsTQ2_hdkmzwZp96ZgeNZciV-40wutl0Lcw4bydXpRA364BFoZlk5ivfsLBi6UUCWmg.yahoo.invalid> 
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  Subject: [Bell Historians] W W Starmer


  Can anyone point me to an article either by or about W W Starmer and his interest in bells.  From Taylors records I find that he had various bells cast for him.  Also Dr Moody organist of Ripon Cathedral writes, at the time of the recasting of the Cathedral bells, that he wishes he still had his freind Starmer to advise him.

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