Pages

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Making of Bells

Those of you who did my monopoly tour last year may recall how excited I was to find the Whitechapel Bell Foundry (see here) and that I applied for a visit. You apply each September for tours the following year.
Yesterday I went on my tour. Wow where to begin.
Bells are still made in much the same fashion as in medieval times. Who would have thought goats hair and horse manure played an important role! Not me that's for sure. How are bells rung? Well the English stand alone in ringing them the hardest way possible, by pulling a rope. To have any control over this method an elaborate hanging system is required. This has to be assemble a bit like lego as bells tend to hang in very small places generally up an extremely narrow winding staircase. I learned that copper and tin two very soft metals produce a hard metal and the more tin you put in the harder the metal. Put too much in and the bell will shatter like glass. A revelation to me.
Then there are the hand bells, a large part of the business now. Well bells last a good 150 years so you don't pop out and buy one every day. There are only seven bell foundries in the world. Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the oldest and has always been family owned. Truly this visit is worth the effort.

11 comments:

Sharon said...

Your visit must have been fascinating. You've certainly passed on some information that I've never heard before. I also love this photo. That bell you have pictured is so rough around the outside and so smooth and shiney on the inside.

John said...

Now that is something I would love to do and will take a look into.

jabblog said...

That sounds absolutely fascinating. I bet it's a visit that could be repeated with more to learn each time.

This is Belgium said...

Interesting .. would love to visit
have a great sunday !

Karine said...

You are so fortunate, I would love to visit a bell foundry!

Elephant's Eye said...

One of those seven is in Aarau in Switzerland.

RedPat said...

Lucky you to have a tour!

Babzy said...

what an interesting visit ! :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Fascinating...
where do the manure and goats hair come in?

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Marvellous Mo - you obviously enjoyed the tour.

Bergson said...

impresive bells

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...