bromyard news

Bromyard Bells Are Getting A Makeover

Back in 1752, Bromyardians bought the latest in bell technology – a ring of six bells from Rudhalls of Gloucester. With overhauls every generation or so, those bells stayed together as a set until one of them cracked and had to be replaced in 1898 with a bell cast by the Birmingham firm of Barwell.

Another overhaul in the nineteen-thirties and come 1967 the bells were very hard to ring. A major project saw the old wooden frame replaced with a modern steel one, and two new bells added by Taylors of Loughborough. This set of eight bells has been one of the most rung in the Diocese of Hereford. They are musical and easy to ring.

Now in 2016 there is a chance to make the bells even better. Thanks to two very generous donations, we are able to:

  • add two more bells to make ten in all
  • replace one bell of poor quality with a new one
  • use modern tuning techniques to improve the sound quality of the bells
  • install adjustable sound proofing in the tower
  • add features to equip Bromyard for modern teaching, by installing two dumb bells and simulators linked to computers, with CCTV so that learners can see the bell swing when they pull on their rope
  • move the church clock to a better position and replace the cumbersome weights with an autowind system (at present the ringers have to wind the clock twice a week and the system takes up a lot of space)

Here are a few questions and answers about the project:

When will it happen? Between April and September this year
Who is involved? Some of the work is being done by members of the band. There are two main contractors
Whites of Appleton, who will take the bells out, modify the bell frame, manufacture components and supply the dumb bells
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry are casting the new bells and tuning the set
What do the bells sound like now? This is the bells being rung by a visiting band in 2007
What's involved in casting and hanging bells? You can see videos of the bells cast for the Jubilee: click here.... and and here....
Why ten bells? Bells usually come in sets of 5, 6, 8, 10, or 12 With ten we get useful choices – all ten, eight, a lighter six and a heavier six – so what we do can vary depending on the ringers available
How do I find out more? We will continue to add information. You can email David Parker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and are always welcome to come to visit the ringing. Just send an email and we will arrange it

DATES FOR THE PROJECT

14 May: Ringers with a connection with Bromyard will ring a peal
11 June: The band will rung the last peal before the work, celebrating the Queen's ninetieth birthday

NEWS

On 15 March, the three new bells were cast at Whitechapel. A group of us were there to witness the event and enjoy a tour of the foundry , where Big Ben was cast in 1858. Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the oldest company in Britain, and has been operating since 1570. The techniques used in making a bell are also very traditional, involving moulds made of horse manure. The tradition, the excitement of seeing our new bells come into being made for a memorable day.

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