Our Bells

The Eight Bells Of This Parish Church were presented by

The Musgrave Family Of Homewood, Hensingham

And Were Dedicated To The Glory Of God

By The Right Rev. John William Diggle D.D. Lord Bishop Of Carlisle On 14th. August 1914

Treble                                 186 Kg 3-2-19 2′  1″ F#
2                                           198 Kg 3-3-16 2′ 11″ F
3                                           223 Kg 4-1-15 2′ 3″ D#
4                                          249 Kg 4-3-17 2′ 5″ C#
5                                           314 Kg 6-0-21 2′  8″ B
6                                          370 Kg 7-1-4 2′ 10″ A#
7                                          428 Kg 9-1-26 3′ 1″ G#
Tenor                                 696 Kg 13-2-23 3′ 6″ F#

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The first complete ring of bells fitted with a set of modern ball bearings was at Hensingham.

Plain and Rolling Bearings.

Ball or roller races were first used for bell bearings towards the end of the 19th Century – but only on an experimental basis. In fact it is now just over 100 years ago (it was in 1899) that James Shaw produced the first practical bearings of this sort, which were roller bearings in a machined block.

James Carr also obtained a patent about this time, and eventually Warners tried the then young firm of Hoffmann as suppliers by 1913. It was not until 1914 however that the first complete ring of bells was fitted with a set of what we would call modern ball bearings.

This was at Hensingham in Cumberland, fitted by Taylors. From the start the idea was that this was to be a “bought in” part, not made by the bellfounder, although in fact several bellfounder and bellhanging firms had designed and applied for patents of their own version of this concept as they had done previously with various improvements to “plain” bearing design. (see Mr. Jennings’ excellent book on Bell fittings).

Extract from the Ringing World 22 November 2002 – 1195

Zen and The Art of Belfry Maintenance 4 by David Struckett

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