The Land of the Chimer
"Have you ever heard of the land of Beyond?
that dwells at the edge of the day.
alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
and is ever so far away" (R. W. Service)
May the sound of our bells
with their Christian cry
bring peace to the land of Beyond.
informal newsletter, of the
George’s Memorial Chimer’s Guild
on matters pertaining to chiming and chimers
Published as the spirit moves us
The Carswell Memorial Chimes
In 2006 the bells will be played each weekday at noon in a one hour recital by the Chimers of St. George's. They are played for most of the Sunday Services as one of the ultimate goals of having the bells chime the services in, and chime the services out was strived for.
The three core Sunday
8.15 a.m. BCP Holy Eucharist
9.30 a.m. Folk Holy Eucharist
11.00 a.m. Choral
In addition, during
weekdays, as often as possible, the Matins when scheduled, are played in and
out. As is the Thursday Eucharist
Week Day Noon Hour Chime Recitals
The chimes are played daily, Monday to Friday, in recital from 1200 – 1300 hours by members of the Guild and from time to time by visiting Chimers. Normally this is in conjunction with the Open Door Program of the Church.
To ring these services on a constant basis is one of
the prime goals of the
2006 Chimer’s Guild of St. George’s Memorial
"Partners in Chime"
Church’s Heavy Metal Group)
Sunday Chiming Schedule
2006 Winter and
Spring Chiming Schedule. To and including Easter.
Notice: Please be advised that the some of the schedule may be
jeopardized by the ongoing repairs to the church floor during the rest of
March and part of April. Because
of these repairs the Open Door Program has been suspended for the month of
March and until the floors are finished.
means that during the week the chimer might be the only one in church
consequently if you are nervous about chiming by yourself do not try.
If you still want to chime give me a call, and if I am available I will
come in and remain in the main body of the church from the time you start to
chime until you come down.
school break, on the Monday, March 13th,
Peter Ryde, our friend, and Master of the Bells, from St. James,
Stratford will be stopping in to help in the recital.
Deborah, it would be appreciated if you could play on the Thursday, (where I
am scheduled) in lieu of Monday, and I will baby sit the church while you are
Deborah, it would be appreciated if you could play on the Thursday, (where I am scheduled) in lieu of Monday, and I will baby sit the church while you are playing.
questions folks? give me a
call at 905 576 5008
9th Palm Sunday.
April 16th Easter Sunday.
1100 Lucy Singh
Please note that Gillian Heath is on sick leave recovering from her back operation.
The Weekday Schedule will be revised shortly to allow day swapping between some of the chimers.
Mondays Rob Millikin (Joan Fontaine)
Tuesdays Lois McDonald
Wednesdays Jane Prosser (will arrange to swap her day)
Thursdays Rob Millikin, (till Marie returns)
Fridays Joan Fontaine (will arrange to swap her day.)
Weekday Chiming Schedule
Monday 1200 –
Tuesday 1200 -
1200 - 1.00PM
1200 - 1.00PM
of October then Rob Millikin)
Friday 1200 - 1.00PM
Tenor Bell Ringer:
(Chime Master 1990 – 2002
News of the here and there.
to one and all, who have an interest in the great chime
and our ministry of the
Visitors: From time to time over the past six months St. George’s Memorial has had the benefit of a guest chimer, Peter Ryde, the Master of the Bells, of St. James Anglican, in Stratford, who often makes a “chime stop” on his way to and fro from Stratford, to Kingston, to visit with his daughter who attends Queens University. Instead of a coffee stop, Peter makes a chime stop, while his wife Pat, makes the coffee stop.
Below is a picture of Peter, his wife Pat, and St. George’s own Belfry mouse “Algeron” in his conducting mode.
things to relate,, in our world of chime, the first a brief report on the
happenings of October 1st, the great Chime Crawl, and
second, those events of
October 2nd the 25th Bell Anniversary of Don Wright, St. Peter’s,
Great Chime Crawl of
Well folks, where to begin?
Perhaps it would be wise to start on the evening of September 30th,
at the Holiday Inn in Oshawa. T’was
a pleasant fall evening as I recall when the Western contingent of chimers
gathered in the dinning room at about 7.30.
Present were Charlene Mumberson, Bonnie
Harris and Sylvia Fairbank, all of Christchurch Anglican Petrolia, Pat and Peter
Ryde of St. James Anglican, Stratford, Gillian Heath, Joan Fontaine, and Rob
Millikin, from St. George’s Memorial. A
pleasant evening followed in which discussions of bells, bell music, and bell
maintenance were all covered. It is
always nice to meet with fellow chimers.
On Saturday morning we proceeded to St. George’s Memorial to attend and play the Carswell Memorial Chime, a chime of 15 Whitechapel bells, originally installed in 1924. This was played with perhaps more enthusiasm than accuracy due to the fact it is a clavier when most of the guests were used to a chimestand.
Nevertheless a grand hour of music, sacred and secular was heard.
It allowed our visiting chimers access to more notes than they were used to, and they certainly made use of them. Some of our visiting chimers from Christ Church in Petrolia were horrified at the steps that we, the ones from St. George climb on a daily basis.
It took them a while to recover their
breath, but when they discovered that we played by music and not by number there
was some deep
St. George's Memorial Anglican Church, Oshawa, Ontario
of the "Carswell Memorial Chime".
left, Charlene, Bonnie and Sylvia, the Chimer “Belles” of Christ
Church Anglican Church in Petrolia trying out the "carillon" style
clavier of the Carswell Memorial Chime, at St. George's Memorial in Oshawa.
Peter Ryde, of St. James, Stratford, in the background going through his music
in preparation for playing.
Then it was off to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Port Hope, Ontario. There we were met by the Sexton Wayne Macklin, who welcomed us on behalf of the Rector David McBride. This was also “Open House” day for St. Paul’s and so our “troubadour” chimers added to the occasion playing their chosen favourites on this lovely instrument, a Meneely 11 bell chime with the traditional chime stand.
Here the roles were reversed with our visiting chimers from the Diocese of Huron ringing forth, by number, while those of us from St. George’s were now the tentative ones, used to playing by music and not by number. For some of us it was the first time on anything other than the clavier keyboard. And was it an eye opener for sure. St. Paul’s is a beautiful church in a superb location on a hill, on the main street at the west end of town. Great for the bells. The chime stand is quite accessible via a carpeted stairs, in a light an airy finished room. I was quite jealous of the surround since I normally have to climb up a steep stairs, through two very large chambers to arrive at our inner sanctum.
Nevertheless the Chimes of St. Paul's were rung for over an hour sending their message over downtown Port Hope, on a very beautiful fall day.
A perfect day to hear the
Bonnie, from Christ Church Petrolia at the Chimestand
of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church,
Port Hope, Ontario.
Then, again into our cars and it was off to Cobourg where the ten bell Meneely Chime awaited us at St. Peters. Here we were welcomed by Jim Weller.
And again the bells rang their messages of joy.
Peter was like the energizer bunny, just playing on, and on
and………………. A lot of fun
to watch and listen to his variations on the bells, made especially so by the
fact he was playing on a chimestand with which he was very familiar, so there he
was, pictured below, hands, elbows and the occasional knee all flying
around the chimestand in a choreography that only Peter seemed familiar with,
yet very effective. (Note left knee poised for action)
Jim Weller gave us the grand tour of St. Peter's recently expanded so as to fulfill an area role within the diocese, the new eight sided chapel is very beautiful, as are all of the additions. Very tasteful and functional rooms added to a classic church. Once new photos have been processed they will be forwarded to you.
Alas, all too soon we ran out of time, and our journey to Brockville continued
due to construction we could not attend, see and play the bells of St.
Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kingston a lovely 9 bell Gillett and Johnston
chime. Oh well, some other time for
Now we settled in for Highway cruising on
the 401 to arrive at Brockville and St. Peter’s Anglican Church our final
destination and the ultimate reason for the tour.
The 25th Anniversary Celebrations of Don Wright's Service
the Chimes that we all love.
When we arrived Don was already strumming
away on the bell ropes of the tube chime, and their unique sound was floating
around the neighbourhood. Soon the
playing chamber was filled with chimers. The
chamber could serve as film backdrop for a early Christian movie on jail cells,
although quite clean for a belfry chamber the rough finished stone walls gave it
a rather antiquity almost catacomb feeling.
Don Wright “strumming” away on the
of Chime Tube Chamber, St. Peter’s
Having said the tube chime was unique it
had nothing on the playing stand, a variation on the ellacomb frame, which to
the consternation of the visiting chimers, from their perspective was numbered
backwards. High notes to low notes,
rather than low notes to high notes. This
made for some very interesting variations on old favourites.
In fact some of the older tunes started
out were completely unrecognizable but gradually they appeared. But
perseverance was the order of the day and the chimers dutifully stood up at
the stand and gave it their all, and all too soon it was 5.30PM and time to stop
Shortly after 6 PM Don's family, guests,
and visiting chimers all gathered together to break bread and discuss, what
else, but bells, and how Don managed 25 years, with Linda not far behind with 17
bells.. Truly a ministry of faith, and stewardship in time, talent
Don, in plaid shirt
Linda at the head of the table.
With us for the weekend was fellow chimer Joe Connors of St. Patrick's, Troy, New York, our web master founder, www.allchimes.com bell guru, and all around nice fellow, and a friend.. A real pleasure to see him again.;
On Sunday we joined together with the
congregation of St. Peter's Anglican Church, Brockville, and the Rev. Canon
Michael Reade to celebrate the Eucharist and give thanks for Don's, and Linda's,
contributions over the years.
presenting the 25th Anniversary Plaque to Don Wright.
It was my pleasure, to present, Don, on
behalf of his brother and sister chimers within the Christian fellowship of
chimers, the above plaque to mark the occasion.
In my presentation I mentioned that all
chimers had some things in common, our facilities were usually climatically
controlled, hot out, hot in. cold out, cold in, wet out, wet in. we chimed in
all the seasons, all for very good reasons.
That all too often we had very good friends who loved to point out that they had heard us make a mistake in our music to which we dourly reply "it was a built in mistake to see if you were listening."
That often we did not know where the
message of the bell was delivered, close by, or far away, depending upon the
weather, to someone of good cheer, or someone void of the spirit, but our
message was always delivered with faith.
addition to wishing Don well, for future endeavours, and thanks for past
services I made note that chimers have been around for over 1600 years, in fact
we were history's very first news anchors, for stop and think, only a few short
years ago, some 140 years, or thereabouts, news to the privileged was by the
written word, and news to the masses was usually delivered by the mouth of the
cannon, or the mouth of the bell. since a great many people still could not
read, nor write.
bells have rung in times of war, and times of peace, and for centuries
have sent out the word of God and our faith, and it is this tradition that we
try to emulate.
Wright’s 25th Anniversary as the “Bell Ringer” for St.
Peter’s and Linda, Don’s wife her 17th year of playing along side
of Don. Imagine duets on a 13 bell
Harrington and Latham chime, one of only three that we know of in Canada.
It is a rare instrument for sure, and it has a unique history.
Which has been covered in www.allchimes.com
Don and Linda “strumming away”
After the service a reception hosted by
the Parish was held in the Parish Hall where Don had his turn at speaking and
then the cutting of the cake to mark the occasion.
For all of the visiting chimers it was a real pleasure to travel to Brockville
and join with Don and Linda in celebration of Don's
25 years on the great tube chimes.
The "Carswell Memorial Chimes"
"Their sound has gone out into all the world"
4' 10 ½"
4' 5 ½"
4' 2 ½"
3' 10 ½"
3' 7 ½"
3' 3 ¾"
2' 11 ¾"
2' 10 ¾"
2' 8 ¾"
2' 7 ¾"
2' 6 ¾"
2' 5 5/8"
Links To Similar Web Sites
www.cyg.net/~stjam/chime.htm The Bells of St. James, Stratford, Ontario.
Bells of St. John - St. John's Episcopal Church, Troy, New York
Bells of Shandon - Eight bell chime at St. Anne's Shandon Church, Cork, Ireland
Church of the Assumption Chime - Buffalo, New York
Cornell Chimes - Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Hopedale Unitarian Church Chime - Hopedale, Massachusetts
James Carter Memorial Chime - Cathedral Church of St. James, Chicago, Illinois
Kenyon College Pealers - (Gambier Chimes) Church of the Holy Spirit, Gambier, Ohio
Kerrytown Chime - Kerrytown Market, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Meredith Memorial Bells - The 11 Bell Chime of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario
Morrison Chime - Church of St. John the Baptist Norway, Toronto, Ontario
St. John's Church Chime - St. John's Anglican, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
St. Mark's Chimes - Episcopal Parish of St. Mark & St. John, Jim Thorpe, PA
Senior Memorial Chime - Altgeld Hall Tower, U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Timothy Eaton Memorial Church - 21 bell John Warner & Sons Chime, 1914
Bell Organizations & Lists of Chimes
Chimes in North America - GCNA list of chimes
Guild of Carilloneurs of North America
Tower Bell Chimers - Allchimes.com, hosted by Joe Connor
Tower Bells Supersite - hosted by Carl Zimmerman
The “Carswell Memorial Chime” History.
The “Carswell Memorial Chimes”, were cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, England, and were dedicated in 1924. Mr. Thomas Edgar Housten, of Cincinnati, donated the “Chimes” and “Tower” in memory of Mrs. Houston’s parents Edward and Rebecca Carswell, two of the founding members of the original St. George’s parish
Alas by definition the bells of St. George’s Memorial are chimes, not a carillon, but we do not tell everyone. A carillon is a set of bells consisting of 23 or more bells. A chime is a set of, from 8 to 22 bells. Nevertheless the bells over the years have been identified by the citizens of Oshawa as the carillon at St. George’s Memorial and so it locally remains the carillon, a much beloved instrument, to the Glory of God.
Fall of 2005 is the date of this annual chronicle (commenced in 2003) and it should be noted that a history is never ending and it is hoped that historian chimers of the future, or others, will continue to chronicle the times that shape the “Carswell Memorial Chimes” in an annual chronicle.
The Chimes were officially unveiled and dedicated on November 9th 1924.
St George’s Chimes ©
The Rev John Zimmerman is a valued member of
the congregation of St. George’s Memorial, and the Chimer’s Guild
appreciates his permission to use the poem
“St. George’s Chimes”
To call the folk to church in
When joy and pleasure are on the wing...we ring.
When from the body parts the soul.... we toll
Appreciation: This short history could not have been gathered without the valuable assistance of St. George’s Archivist Ruth Park. Early history and quote of the bells are from the parish history “St. George’s Our Heritage” by Kathleen M. Rose
Of our fifteen bells, fourteen are fixed, as per the accompanying pictures, while the 15th, the tenor bell is free swinging. See “Big Ed” below. This is the final bell that calls us to worship.
It is very difficult to get an actual picture of the “Carswell Memorial Chimes” An array of bells, without walls is shown to the left.
There are 15 bells in the “Carswell Memorial Chimes”, an octave and a half in the diatonic scale, with four semi-tones. As mentioned above, the Keynote bell is in the tenor. This bell is the ringing, or free-swinging bell, the balance of the bells being fixed in their cradle. The tenor bell is engraved to the memory of Mr. And Mrs. Edward Carswell who were original members of this parish.
On each face of the church tower are four sets of louvers, sixteen in all. Some partially open, some closed to keep out the pigeons, rain, etc. Because they are in a fixed unequal position the sound of the chimes is slightly distorted and directional. In a perfect world each vertical row of the eight louvers would be individually, electrically, controlled through a variety of positions, being fully closed when chimes are not being played or being played by chimers in training, to a variety of open positions depending upon the occasion.
Below is a picture of “Big Ed” the Tenor free-swinging Bell of the Carswell Chimes. Donated in memory of Mr. Edward Carswell a founding member of the parish of St. George’s. Like most “Tenor” Bells it is given a name. There is “Big Ben”, thirteen and a half tons, in the Westminster Houses of Parliament. Then there is “Big Paul”, the largest in the commonwealth at sixteen tons and “Big Tom” at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
And then there is Oshawa's and St. George’s “Big Ed” weighing in at 5759 pounds, almost three tons.” Big Ed" is keyed in “B”
Given the weight of all of the bells it is not surprising that the tower is as massive at it is.
“Big Ed” and his friends will be 80 years old in 2004. During the intervening years their “voices” have been heard across Oshawa over 5000 times on Sundays, Christmas, Easter Week, Weddings funerals etc. calling to the parishioners of St. George’s. One can only despair at the feathered company that the bells have been host to over the years. The feathered ones have certainly left their mark.
The 15 bells in the “Carswell Memorial Chimes” are currently ranked among the top ten chimes in Canada.
Below are some of “Big Ed’s” tinnier friends in their fixed state.
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Mears and Stainbank, London, England cast the bells in 1923/24...................
They also have feathered friends who visit from time to time.
Note the clapper mechanism, which is connected to the Chime stand one floor below.
Within the bell
tower, in the first chamber, one finds a set of stairs, climbing at a steep
angle, some 56 steps in all, passing through the second, the ringing chamber,
and on up to the third, the chiming chamber wherein the “Clavier” is located.
Given that each chamber is the equivalent of two stories, it is a long way up.
For over eighty years generations of parishioners, since 1924, the chimers have climbed these long stairs to ring the chimes to world.
Note the free swinging rope, which is used to ring “Big Ed” in the call to worship or to toll for those parishioners who have departed this life. This is the ringing chamber.
This picture was taken some years ago and is of the original stairs.
Unfortunately, as time did pass, the stairs gradually aged and fell into disrepair to such an extent that it became a very perilous ascent, which was scary, and a descent, which was terrifying, for the chimers.
A consequence of which was the number of parishioners who volunteered to play the chimes diminished, sometimes down to one person. In the nineties when the stairs were at their most perilous it was Donna Matsushita, the Chime Master from 1990 to 2002, who kept alive the spirit of the bells. In 1996-98 Mrs. Helen Hind donated the necessary funds, in memory of her husband Lionel Hind, to replace the chime stairs, in the hope that it would lead to a revival of a core of chimers within the parishioners of St. George’s. Such a revival is currently (2004) underway. It is hoped over the next few years to build the chimers group up to twelve. Parishioners are encouraged to chime in.
Because of the vastness of the chiming chamber a small inner cabin has been built which houses the clavier, and that can be heated in the winter, much to the comfort of the chimer.
The “Clavier” (keyboard) below is
made of oak containing the baton handles of the one and a half octave. This
clavier, made by the I.T. Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, was placed in the
Tower in 1988, replacing the original clavier. The Clavier is arranged in an
Also in the cabin is a “peg-chiming barrel, which was first invented in the 14th Century. The introduction of the weight-driven clock mechanism in the 14th century led to this invention. By the 17th century over 500 chimes in Europe utilized this method. Late in the 18th century a chime of 10 to 20 bells playable from a keyboard, the clavier, or chime stand, became fashionable. From about 1850 to 1930 hundreds of these devices and the “pegged chiming barrels” were imported to the United States and Canada. These barrels had few technical changes from the late 18th century to the middle of the 20th century.
St. George’s “pegged chiming barrel”. J. W. BENSON LTD., London, England, Clock and Carillon Makers made this. 1923. No. 770. It is one of the largest built, up to that time, being some eleven feet long with a diameter of two feet six inches. There are over 3400 steel pegs located on the drum. The pegs tripped levers, on the side of the drum, which in turn were wired to the hammers, which in turn struck the bells.
It is very similar to a music box, except it, as you can see it is gargantuan in size. St. George’s Memorial “pegged” drum was “wound up” using the large handle on the left, while selection was done by the smaller wheel adjustment on the right. Onward Christian Soldiers: Rock of Ages: Coronation Hymn: Fight the Good Fight: Abide With Me, and Four Groups of Changes
Unfortunately the “pegged chiming barrel” is currently out of service.
One of the most
famous “chiming barrels” is used to play the “Westminster Chime” for “Big Ben”
the E-D-C-G. Which was written by Cambridge University student William Crotch,
in 1793 originally for St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge, but adopted by the clock
tower in the Houses of Parliament, London, in 1859
The “Carswell Memorial Chimes of St. George’s have announced the Sunday services, special celebrations of the church, sounded joyously at the weddings of our parishioners, have tolled at the loss of our loved ones. The chimes have chimed to celebrate the return of our servicemen from the perils of war, conflict, and peacekeeping. The chimes have been a rallying point for our congregation over the years, and, hopefully, will continue to do so for many years to come.