Broken Clapper

August 2004

On Sunday 29th, whilst ringing for evening service, a loud thud was heard from the bell chamber, in the vicinity of the back bells.  After the bells were stood, the back bells were individually turned over, the 9th was completely silent! On inspection, the clapper of the 9th was resting on the floor beneath the bell, having completely sheared off at the top of the shaft. 

Photo: view up under 9th  

Looking up under the 9th at the remaining part of the clapper

Photo: staple & top of fracture  

The top part, the staple, which remained in the bell.

Photo: The 2 parts of the clapper 

The 2 parts of the clapper, after removing the staple from the bell.

Photo: The fracture  

A close up of the fracture

Photo: The other side  

A close up of the other side of the fracture, on the shaft

Photo: The new clapper  

The clapper was taken to Taylor's on Wed 1st Sept. 
A replacement clapper was obtained on Mon 6th and refitted on Fri 10th.
The clapper as initially fitted.

Photo: After shortening  

 Taylor's advised that the new clapper was some 15-20mm longer than the original, and if clearances were tight it would have to be ground down. Whilst there was plenty of room to the frame, the end of the clapper was found to be extremely close to the end of the clapper of the 8th if both bells happen to ring simultaneously.

Photo: The bit cut off  

So the clapper was trimmed.

The piece cut off the new clapper 

Photo: The bit cut off  

There is no record of the clapper on the 9th ever breaking. 
The last clapper break was the 5th, in April 1983, 
the fourth time since the bells were recast in 1934. 
In the same period the 6th has broken once, the 7th 3 times, 
the 8th twice, and the tenor has broken 6 times (See Historical Notes for dates).

8th August 2006  

The new clapper has been difficult to raise "right" since fitted, but assumed that it would bed in, like the others, which are now well worn since their rebushing in 1994 & 1996.

On Tuesday evening, during practise, it took a dramatic turn for the worse.
After some increasingly odd striking, it actually seized during ringing.  

A couple of weeks short of its 2nd birthday!

It was removed, and escorted down to Taylors the following day, where a very efficient "Clappers-bushed-while-u-wait" service, saw the clapper back in Sheffield the same day. 

It was refitted that evening, not 24hrs after the incident.

Update - 2012

see Clapper bushes article - 9th clapper replaced again during latest rebushing


 Back to News Index

 Go back to Homepage