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Lambley Historical Society

John Taylor Bell Foundry Visit

In July we visited the world renowned John Taylor Bell Foundry in Loughborough, the last one remaining in Britain. The tour started with a video of the history of the foundry and bell making process. We were informed that Taylor made the biggest bell by a UK foundry – Great Peter in 1881 which weighs 17,002 kilograms (16 ton 14 Cwt ‘in old money’). The bell hangs in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The bell rings at 1.00pm every day and is now eclectically rung.

With our excellent guide John, we entered the foundry to find a factory that has changed little since its opening in 1839. The Victorian buildings (Grade 2* listed) complemented perfectly the ancient craft of making and refurbishing bells. We were shown bells from York Minister which are currently being restored by Taylor’s skilled craftsmen – one of whom is in his 70s. He works there simply because he loves his job!

We visited the Casting Workshop where moulds were being made in sand treated with a resin. These moulds are to be used in the making of new bells. They also use the more traditional method of wet loam moulding. Loam contains amongst other materials horse manure, which allows moisture to escape in the hot casting process. From the Casting Workshop we visited the tuning area, where we were told about the art of tuning a bell. We had a demonstration of the sounds that they make when made of different metals – the best are those cast in bronze.

When tuning, they use the Taylor’s five tone principle developed in 1896. This produces the purity and sweetness of tone which allows the bells to resound with rich and full mellowness. They work on five principle harmonics known as the hum, fundamental, tierce, quint and nominal. When the correct frequency is achieved for each of these, the bell is in tune with itself. The job is carried out by an engineer using his ears with the support of modern day technology. If he cuts too much metal away and ruins the tone, then the bell has to be recast – a medium size one costs £8K to £10K. Tuning takes between a day for a small one, to three days for a large bell. One of the machines used to cut the largest bells has been in use for well over 100 years and is heritage listed.

As well as bells The Foundry manufactures other related products including Bell Frames, Wooden Bell Wheels, Headstocks, Clappers etc. We saw a wheel being made by a female joiner. In the past English elm was used in the wheel but due to Dutch elm disease they now have to use a different wood from abroad.

At the end of the tour we were invited to explore the Bell Foundry Museum which complemented the tour and gave further information on Taylor’s history. There are numerous artefacts, pictures and examples of different bells etc. You can play happy birthday on a set of bells if you wish!

After our tour some members took the opportunity to visit the local pub for a meal washed down with a welcome thirst quenching Everard’s Sunchaser ale on a hot summer day! We reflected upon what had been an excellent visit.

If you would like to know more or visit John Taylor Foundry then tours can be arranged with them direct:   Tel 01509 212241

The first of our autumn meetings is on September 24th at 7.30pm in the W.I.Hall in Lowdham when Michael Harrison will talk about Ernest Cox and the Wrecks of Scapa Flow.

For more information contact Kay on 0115 9313646 or Joyce on 0115 9653314 or visit our website


Monday 3rd September

at 7.30pm

All welcome – Raffle & Refreshments


October – date to be finalised

The Institute, Woodborough

8.30am – 11.30am

Calverton and Woodborough Allotment Association

Our next trip is to the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday 30th September. The cost for members is £27 and for non-members £29 which includes transport and entrance to the show. There are still a few spaces left on the coach so if you would like to go please contact Malcolm on 07814879720.

Our AGM is on Thursday 18th October at Calverton Village Hall in William Lee Memorial Park, Park Road, Calverton. We have a speaker from the St. Annes Allotment Association. They manage one of the biggest inner city victorian allotment sites in the country and will be covering the history, recent developments and future of the site.

We will also be having our “Heaviest Pumpkin” competition on the night. If you have an entry please bring it to the Village Hall at 6.00 pm for weighing. The AGM will start at 6.30pm. Hopefully this will be brief and the talk will start at about 7.00 pm.

Members will soon be receiving their seed and potato catalogues and with these will be their allotment rent and membership renewal letters. As in previous years, members of the committee will be available, in the Parish Council rooms, on the mornings of Tuesday and Thursday 2nd and 4th October to take both your allotment rent and Association subscriptions.

Finally we haven’t yet decided how we will judge the award of the President’s Cup this year for the “weirdest vegetable” and I will be giving you details in next month’s issue.

Mike Hope (Secretary) 0115 8458703

Four Bells, Woodborough

A few pictures from the Beach Party at the Four Bells on Bank Holiday Monday

Photos by Michael Dobbs





Musical Evening

Cancer Research UK – Woodborough Committee

“May Your Days Be Merry and Bright”
performed by
Adam Smith, Tenor

Adam takes us on a festive musical journey through the decades that celebrates the wonderful music of Christmas.

Woodborough Village Hall – Saturday 8th December, 7.00pm for 7.30pm
Fork Supper, Licensed Bar
Tickets £25, why not take a table of 8 but smaller groups obviously welcome.
Tickets from Kathryn Watson Tel 9652463


Woodborough Art Club

Woodborough Art Club enjoyed a successful Open Day during the Street Market this year. Thank you to all the visitors who called at the Institute to view our paintings and watch our artists at work. It was lovely to welcome you. We are a friendly group with skill levels ranging from near beginners to very experienced artists who are more than happy to share their knowledge.

We are currently looking for one or two more members. We meet in the Institue Thursday mornings between 10 and 12 noon.

If you would like to know more please contact Joyce Andrews Tel. 0115 9653832 or Chris Atkin Tel. 0115 9611115