Saturday, June 24, 2006

Introducing the Sacring Bell

This type of bell has been rung during Mass in the Catholic Church for over 800 years. They are referred to by a variety of names including, Sacring bell, Sanctus bell, Altar bell, Saint's bell, Mass bell, Sance bell, Saunce bell, and Squilla bell.
I wanted a new set of these bells for my collection to provide another practical use of bells and who better to make them than one of the great founders of the world.?
I discussed the design with Steve McEwan, the foreman of the small bells team at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. I wanted a set that would be easy to display on a solid base.
A few weeks later the call came to say the bells were ready.
What follows describes the day I collected what is for me one of the most delightful bells in my collection.

I'm off

All is quiet at Sway before I set off on the 8.33am train to Waterloo.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Whitechapel Bell Foundry has been casting church bells since 1570. Today's premises are in Whitechapel Road in London where they have been since 1738. A must place to visit for all bell enthusiasts.


These photos show some of the exhibits on display in the reception area. The model of the Liberty Bell is a reminder of the international status of the foundry.

Nearly there

Steve puts a finishing touch to his creation. Will he part with them?

All is revealed

The Sacring Bell is made up by four musical handbells and a medieval cow bell serving also as a stable base. The handle is wenge and is topped by the Founders badge and name. In all, the bells have 13 tiny clappers which create together the most glorious tinkling sound that lingers as only bell metal can.

Dimensions are:

Height 27cm Width 16cm

Musical handbells 52mm, 61mm, 66mm, 68mm
Base 68mm

Bells tuned in the chord of G

The photos are not brilliant but they give a fair impression of the bells.

Time to pack

Mandy is the delightful lady who looks after visitors to the foundry. No doubt a jack of all trades behind the scenes she's the lady who will answer your questions if you drop in and will sell you anything that takes your fancy in the foundry shop. She helps Steve to pack the bell ready for it's journey to the south coast.

A stroll back to Waterloo

Well at least I was strolling. I cannot believe that people actually do this for fun in their lunch hour - not in mid summer anyway.

This is London

Well I can't show photos of a walk back to Waterloo without showing the Houses of Parliament can I?

Human statue

Same the world over. Someone getting money out of tourists. Still, it's fun.

Across the Thames

Nearly there.


A lot busier than Sway Station!

Train awaits

On the way home soon! Mind you, I got told off for taking the photo. Did he think I was a spy?

It's home

It was worth the effort

And into the collection