The Rack - Mini-ring in Great Barr

The Rack is a light peal of six bells, tenor 3lbs 6oz in the key of B-flat, hung for full-circle change-ringing in our house.

 

Details of the bells

Bell Founder Diameter Weight Note
Treble Taylor 5¼" 1lb 5oz G
2nd Taylor 5¾" 1lb 13oz F
3rd Mears 6½" 2lb 7oz E-flat
4th Mears 6¾" 2lb 11oz D
5th Mears 7¼" 3lb 0oz C
Tenor Mears 7½" 3lb 6oz B-flat

 

The bells were originally hung by Bob Parker of Taunton, as a portable ring, and have made several public appearances. They were taken to Glastonbury Tor to score the first quarter peal in that tower, and while first in Birmingham during 1992 were pealed: Cambridge Surprise Minor, double-handed.

After several years without use, the bells were recovered by Matthew Higby, and taken to our previous home in Towcester where, after some essential repair work, they were hung in a permanent location during December 2000.  After we moved to Great Barr the bells were reinstated in 2006.

The bells are based on a set of handbells, size 24 in B-flat. Being an early "mini-ring", their hanging is somewhat different to the modern rings by Matthew Higby: the bells a tucked-up and have fairly small wheels, though the turning speeds are similar. This does make them considerably harder to handle, though with a little practice they present no problem to anyone experienced with mini-rings in general.  The fittings are now very worn and require repair or replacement in order to give the bells a new lease of life: a project for the summer months!

A few peals have been rung on the bells.  Details may be found here (from the peals.co.uk website).

Michael Williams maintains a directory of all known mini-rings.