[Bell Historians] Drones

c.j.pickford at talk21.com c.j.pickford at talk21.com
Wed Mar 9 10:58:47 GMT 2022

I used one – quite expensively! – to look at a couple of turret bells in Luton a few months before the first lockdown. 


In one case, where the far side of the turret is completely invisible from the adjacent land we got a good result – a clear reading of the inscription. 


In the other, where the bell is quite high but partly concealed under a roof extension gable – we didn’t get anything better than I’d already obtained with a long lens (I now have a decent telephoto lens and intend to have another go next time I’m passing). In that case, there is a small maker’s badge on the waist and the drone couldn’t get close enough.


We couldn’t even attempt to use the drone at a third church – again, the inscription is on the far side of the bell and not visible from the ground at all. It’s close to Luton airport and in a zone where drone flying is strictly controlled. A reminder that there are rules regarding the use of drones and proper permissions are needed to fly on church property.


The other problem is wind. It was quite windy on the day in question and only just safe to fly the drone. The drone was buffeted by the wind and thus not stable enough to get very clear photos.


It was worth a try, and I was pleased with the one positive result. But (as Peter Hayward wryly observed shortly afterwards) the drone can’t measure diameters!!


Chris Pickford

Kinver (UK)

e-mail:  <mailto:pickford5040 at gmail.com> pickford5040 at gmail.com 

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