The one who calls in C#

Our church bell fell silent just before Easter when the bell rope came tumbling down the belfry to the ground. We missed its faithful call to worship, and the sounding out the angelus to the parish. Fortunately, Dr George Lee, the Manchester Diocesan Bell Advisor stepped in and kindly agreed to visit and help us out.

George climbed up the belfry right to the bell and reapplied the rope and took some fascinating photos while he was up there.

The one who calls is faithful (1 Thess 5.24)

The one who calls is faithful (1 Thess 5.24)

Here are some facts about our bell at Church:

The bell was cast in 1905 by John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough, a bell foundry which has been operated by the Taylor family since 1784 and is still doing well.

Bell sizes are measured in the older avoirdupois system – our bell weighs 5cwt 1qt 22lbs, which corresponds to approximately 610lbs or 277Kg.

The bell is 30ins in diameter, and is tuned to C#.

The inscriptions on the bell read:

JOHN TAYLOR & CO   LOUGHBOROUGH    LEICESTERSHIRE

 A  M  D  G           VENITE  ADORAMUS

 RECAST  MCMV

Bell 2The initials AMDG being the initials of the Latin phrase Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam – For the Greater Glory of God, and Venite Adoramus is an invitation meaning Come let us adore (him).

We are very grateful to George for his repairs which will hopefully last us a couple of years, but meanwhile we need to consider arranging for a new bell rope (costing in the region of £300).

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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One Response to The one who calls in C#

  1. We asked in a mailing group:
    Is there a reason why C# would have been chosen?

    Chris Wright gave this very full and helpful reply:

    None at all. When “sizing up” for a full ring of bells, there will be
    consideration of total weight – and what the tower will stand. The sideways
    force of a bell being rung full circle (as I suspect yours is not) is about two or
    three times the dead weight of the bell, so the bells are hung in different
    directions to as to spread that load.

    There will be a consideration of the physical size of the bells. Each bell pit
    has to be a bit wider than the diameter of the bell and something over twice
    as long as the height of the bell. That’s also round about the diameter of the
    wheel (I see that you have a full wheel).

    These two factors: size and weight will, largely, determine the note of the
    bell. Part of the skill of a bell founder is to be able to predict the note of a
    bell before it is cast. Though tuning after casting can make a great
    difference to the note, it is far better to cast them just about right and have a
    minimal amount of metal to remove to “fine tune” them.

    Taylors used the Simpson tuning system where five notes are tuned.

    The fundamental is the basic note of the bell. In your case, this is C# – but
    be aware that YOUR C# may well be “different” to a C# from another ring of
    bells!

    The hum note is an octave below (a major seventh in some older bells) and
    comes from a spot below the main, thick sound bow.

    The nominal is an octave above and sounds from near the top of the bell.

    The quint (a fifth) and tierce (minor third) are in the octave between the
    fundamental and the nominal and sound from around the waist of the bell.

    The actual shape of the bell affects the relative importance of these notes,
    giving each bell a “character”. I note that your “Venite” seems to have a
    fairly tubular top section, typical of a 1900’s Taylor bell. (Though it’s difficult,
    from that angle, to be sure. I may just be seeing what I expect to see!) This
    will tend to increase the dominance of the nominal. If you look at
    http://htringers.org.uk/index.php?PageID=bells1 you can see that our (also
    Taylors) bells have a rather more tapering top section. That will give a bit
    more dominance to the fundamental and the hum.

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