[Bell Historians] Manufacturers of handbells for export?

Mike Chester mikechester at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 14 17:36:23 BST 2023

Westley are casting church bells to Whitechapel profiles, but not handbells.  "Bells of Whitechapel" indicates that handbells are cast in "South London"


From: Bell-historians <bell-historians-bounces at lists.ringingworld.co.uk> on behalf of Neil Skelton via Bell-historians <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk>
Sent: 14 August 2023 16:32
To: Bell Historians <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk>
Cc: Neil Skelton <neilskelton at ntlworld.com>; georgebellringer at gmail.com <georgebellringer at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Manufacturers of handbells for export?

James Shaw of Bradford is said to have been one of the best handbell founders of his day. More recently Whitechapel handbells are said to have been the best. I do believe that the Westley Group is casting handbells to their same patterns. Certainly Whitechapel did export large sets of handbells to America.

Neil Skelton
On 14/08/2023 16:54 georgebellringer--- via Bell-historians <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk> wrote:

James Saw of Bradford did many large sets.

Including Frostburgh, Maryland in their catalogue.


From: Bell-historians On Behalf Of Carl S Zimmerman
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2023 3:13 PM
To: Bell Historians <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk>
Subject: [Bell Historians] Manufacturers of handbells for export?

It is well known that the Whitechapel bellfoundry exported to the USA many sets of handbells, some of them as large as five fully chromatic octaves.  That was an active business for decades.  But other exporters are less well known, and I am curious to learn more.

The former Petit & Fritsen bellfoundry of the Netherlands exported some sets, and I have seen one of three octaves.  I have heard of Taylor handbells in places other than change-ringing towers, but I don't know any details.  And I have just learned that Gillett & Johnston may have shipped to two-octave set to the USA in 1957.

Not counting smaller diatonic sets of handbells that may have been acquired by change ringers for practice purposes, what is known about the export of handbells for tune ringing?

Carl Scott Zimmerman, Campanologist
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA -
 - 19th c. home of at least 37 bell founders or resellers
Tel. +1-314-821-8437
Webmaster for www.TowerBells.org<http://www.TowerBells.org>
 * Avocation: tower bells
 * Recreation: handbells

 * Mission: church bells

Webmaster for www.TSCChapter134.org<http://www.TSCChapter134.org>

Treasurer, World Carillon Federation

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