The Bell Chamber

Church of St Nicholas, Great Wakering

Article by Richard Kirton 25th February 2012

I met Tim Baskett at the church today, the Tower Captain of the Bell Ringers along with Mark Weber who was there to carry out his weekly winding of the Clock. I would like to thank them both for their time and assistance.

The bells are a ring of 6 in the key of ‘A’ where the tenor bell weighs about 8¼ cwt. The back 5 bells were cast by Thomas Mears and Son of the ‘Whitechapel Bell Foundry’ in 1808. They were cast at a time when harmonic tuning was not understood, and the treble pitch was calculated on the tenor, bearing in mind:

These are the errors only in the strike notes and the other principle partial tones are more accurate.

The weights of the bells are:

The treble bell was added in 1948 and each bell was turned a quarter on its headstock to bring an unworn surface under the blow of the clappers and the old cast in crown staples were drilled out. The canons or supporting loops were left intact.

Bernard Cooper was the son of one our local businesses ‘Cooper and Son’, Bakers & Grocers from the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Bell Ringer in 1965 and served until 1988 when he was awarded a small Bronze Bell to commemorate his service with the group and his position as Tower Captain.

The following short video clip shows part of a course of Stedman Doubles rung at Great Wakering during the Rainham Bell Ringers & Friends Tower Outing to Essex on 17th September 2011: Rounds & call changes (outside) at Great Wakering, Essex 17th Sept 2011.

Church of St Nicholas - Bell Chamber


8 cwt

1 qr

2 lb


7 cwt

0 qr

24 lb


5 cwt

3 qr

8 lb


5 cwt

9 qr

14 lb


4 cwt

3 qr

9 lb

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