History of the Bells of Radyr

John Taylor of Loughborough was the founder of our eight bells (tenor bell 12cwt in the key of G), which were dedicated in 1912. Parish Magazine reports say they were first rang for the wedding of David Rupert Phillips and Amy Isabel Thomas on 24 August 1910.

With the intervention of two world wars when the bells were silent, and remained silent for considerable periods of time after peace declarations, the installation fell into a state of disrepair particularly regarding the plain bearings (steel stub-shafts rotating in brass bushes) which support the bells as they turn through full circles: grit had contaminated the lubricant and damaged the bearing surfaces. Eventually, during the 1970s, in three stages of finance and work, the bell headstocks were fitted with ball-bearing housings, most of the work being performed by the bellringers.

Other work in the tower during this period was the installation of sound control. This involved permanently sealing most of the louvre openings with heavy wooden boards and only leaving small adjustable openings near the top. One of the more beneficial effects of this work was to even up the perceived volume from each bell. Before the sound control, the ring was dominated in any particular direction by the bell closest to a louvre.