Monday, June 19, 2006

John Taylor Bellfounders

Based in Loughborough, Taylors is the largest working bell foundry in the world. This bell is another one of my grand adventures. A 60th birthday gift to myself, I discussed the design by telephone and picked it up in person. What a day that was! I left my home in Sway at about 6.30am and after 2 train changes arrived in Loughborough at noon. After collecting the bell, I toured the foundry and visited the museum. The place reeks with history. I resisted all temptation and left for home. The trains were not on form that day. I finally arrived home at midnight! Exhausted but happy. I have a letter from the foundry which says it all: ' Dear Mr Hyde, Many thanks for your instruction to provide an example of our bellfounding expertise to add to your collection of bells. We have as agreed struck a 6 inches criers bell for this purpose. Produced in best quality bell metal, being complemented with a solid hardwood handle and a ball and chain clapper, this polished bell is we believe, the first to be crafted by John Taylor with their founders badge cast in relief on the waist of a criers bell. It is possible this configuration will not be utilised again, to this extent the bell may well be considered unique. ' Now whoever owns this bell in the future will know it's story. But it's not for sale!

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