Bill Purvis' Bell Page

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This page is dedicated to Bellringers. I'm not a bellringer but I admire their dedication to their art. I admire the complexity from a mathematical point of view, and the skill and concentration that they need to accomplish their work.

I'm currently learning about the rules of ringing and composition and will add bits here as I go along.

I have discovered that ingenious bell-ringers have devised machines to perform change ringing. At present I'm aware of two such machines: The Carter Ringing Machine and the Woodhouse Ringing Machine. A third machine, by Brian D Price, was also built but has been dismantled and details are few. Further details of Brian are available on the CCCBR website

I was, for a few years, a Steward of the Carter Ringing Machine and have built up some web pages with more information about it.

Back in 2004 I spent a week dismantling, measuring and rebuilding the Carter machine, the purpose being to produce some engineering drawings of the components. I have a mass of rough sketches, all dimensioned, plus lots more photos. I also have a complete (I think) parts list. I am hoping to be able to make this information available on the web for those interested, providing I can obtain permission from the owners - watch this space

As Steward of the Carter Ringing Machine I also have care of a collection of electronic ringing simulators built by Peter Cummins. At present most of the collection are not in working order, but one is and is brought out when I demonstrate the Carter machine. I have recently been offered a number of additional Cummins machines, some of which are working. For more details and photographs, see here.

Here is an article which describes the use of Cummins machines written by Peter Cummins for The Ringing World and transcribed by me.

I've also written a short page on the process of change-ringing, in case you're not familiar with it. If you don't understand my description of how the machine operates, you may find this helpful. If you have read it and still don't understand, please contact me and I'll try to clarify it further.

I am currently a Trustee of the Woodhouse Change-Ringing Machine. This is the property of the Lancashire Association of Change Ringers and was built by George Fraser Woodhouse, a Science Master at Sedbergh School, and Tower Captain at St Andrew's Church in Sebergh for may years. For more details click here.


For more information on Bell Ringing, here are a few links that might be useful starting points:

Page Created by Bill Purvis. Last update 24th May, 2017
Contact me at: bill 'at'

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