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Whitwick Colliery Disaster

Article by D. Spencer

See Also:

www.taylorbells.co.uk

The origins of the Taylor Bell Founders date back to the 14th Century, when a man called Johannes de Stafford began making bells not far from Loughborough. The Taylor Family bought the business in 1784, and in 1839 they moved to the current site in Loughborough.

The most famous bell cast at the site is Great Paul. Cast in 1881 it is the largest bell in Britain, weighing in at a colossal 17 tonnes.

The first Taylor to run the business was Robert Taylor. This is a brief outline of his life.

1759 Born at Riseley in Bedfordshire. Son of William Taylor, grocer of that village.
1760 BAPTIZED 1st JANUARY.
1782 Completed his apprenticeship with Edward Arnold (founding 1761-1800) bellfounder of St. Neots, Huntingdonshire.
1784 In charge of the St. Neots bell foundry, when Arnold went to Leicester.
1786 Cast his first complete peal, of five bells, for Bletsoe Church, Bedfordshire.
1789 Married Elizabeth, daughter of William Fowler, Brewer of St. Neots.
1794 Cast five of the six bells for Rushden Church, Northants. Evidently he had problems for he made notes about the second bell as follows:- ". . . being doubtful of it coming two low the cope and core was skraped to much which made it come # as ye thickness of the crook was right".
1816 Cast the third bell of the ring of five for Riseley in conjunction with J. Briant (1749-1829) of Hertford. This is the first known partnership of the two bellfounders.
1818 Cast the tenor of six at Rushden, this completed the peal of six.
1821 Started a bell foundry at Oxford, and the tenor bell of the three at Foston in Lincolnshire has on it "Taylor and Sons, Oxford and St. Neots".
1828 Recast the fourth bell of Lavendon, Buckinghamshire, weight 7cwt 2qtr 9lbs, for 14 7s 7d.
1830 Died and was buried in St. Ebbe's Churchyard, Oxford.

You can find this information, and biographies of many other Taylor's by clicking here.

The bell foundry is open to the public, and makes an interesting trip, especially if combined with a ride on the nearby Great Central Railway. To find out about how bells are made, please visit http://www.taylorbells.co.uk/pages/towerbells/index.html.

Article by D. Spencer

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