Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, Co. Cork

Praxiteles recently received a very interesting brochure written by W. F. Browne (nephew of Bishop Robert browne who completed Cobh Cathedral) and published about 1916 on the carillion which had been installed in Cobh Cathedral.

It contains some useful historical material: “Exhaustive enquiries were made and expert advice was obtained , and finally the order was placed with Messrs. John Taylor and Sons, of Loughborough….. the casting of the bells was very interesting and teh writer saw some of the bells for Cove being cast at Loughborough…Different manufacturers use different proportions but a usual portion is sixteen parts copper to five of tin. While tin melts at a heat of 440 degrees, it is necessary to have 1995 degrees of heat to melt copper. A great cauldron, placed high above the a glowing furnace, contained the molten copper which seethed and bubbled like boiling water. The glare was so dazzling that everyone had to wear yellow goggles. The tin which was to be added to the copper was in big solid blocs like bricks. So intense was the heat that before the block of tin had reached the surface of the liquid metal it had completely melted and disappeared. The liquid was carefully stirred with enormous long rods until properly mixed. The opening at the bottom of the cauldron was merely blocked with clay…..As the molten metal flowed into the mould, men held tapers to small openings that dotted the outer casing of the mould at various points, in order to burn away gas generated in the molten metal. After 48 hours the mould is removed, and then the bell is placed upside down on a turn table and accurately tuned, enormous tuning forks being at hand to give the absolutely correct pitch. When the chime was completed, it was tested and passed as satisfactory by Mr. W.W. Starmer of Tunbridge Wells, one of the greatest living experts on bells, who throughout gave valuable advice and assistance. Then came the question of getting the bells over [to Cobh]. It was war time, and the submarines were very active and exacting a heavy toll. Sir Lewis Bayly, the Admiral commanding the Irish Station, was keenly interested in the bells and offered to have the ship in which they were to come specially escorted. A week or two in advance the writer telephoned to the Admiral to remind him of his promise. His answer was characteristic: “All right, I’ll watch and you’ll pray”…At length the bells were in position in the tower…and all was ready for inauguration. The carilloneur of the famous belfry in Bruges, Monsieur Antoine Nauwelaerts, came specially from belgium….M. Nauwelaerts displayed the most marvellous mastery of the chimes…playing Schubert’s “Ave Maria”, beethoven’s “Sonata Pathétique”, Mendellsohn’s “Spring Song”.

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