Rochester, Christ & the Blessed Virgin Mary

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5-3-727½" F♯ 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (317) Flat Never
® 2 6-1-1929⅛" E 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon Flat Never
® 3 6-1-2230" D 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (318) Flat Never
® 4 6-3-1731½" C♯ 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (326) Flat Never
® 5 7-1-1933¼" B 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (319) Flat Never
® 6 9-1-2136½" A 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (342) Flat Never
® 7 11-1-2640⅛" G 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (313) Flat Never
® 8 15-0-943¾" F♯ 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (314) Flat Never
® 9 20-0-1348" E 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (315) Flat Never
® Tenor 30-0-1453¾" D 1921 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (316) Flat Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
1 All bells 1960 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Cast iron


How the bells are tuned

The ring of eight before the ring of ten

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble (of 8)6-3-1431½"D1904Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1921
2nd (of 8)7-2-632¾"C♯1904Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1921
3rd (of 8)8-2-1535⅛"B1904Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1921
4th (of 8)9-3-2037¾"A1904Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1921
5th (of 8)12-0-1441"G1904Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1921
6th (of 8)16-0-944"F♯1712James BagleyNeverRecast 1921
7th (of 8)18-2-547¾"E1904Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1921
Tenor (of 8)26--52"D1834Thomas Mears INeverRecast 1921

The ring of six before the ring of eight

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble (of 6)7-3-1734"1770Pack & ChapmanNeverRecast 1904
2nd (of 6)8-0-034½"UnknownUnknownNeverBlank. Recast 1904
3rd (of 6)10-2-1040"1635John WilnarNeverRecast 1904
4th (of 6)16-0-944"1712James BagleyNeverRecast 1921
5th (of 6)21-2-1848"1683Christopher HodsonNeverRecast 1904
Tenor (of 6)30-1-51683Christopher HodsonNeverRecast 1834

Some earlier bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble (of 6)16-0-91695John WoodNeverRecast 1770
5th (of 6)20-2-16UnknownRecast 1683
Tenor (of 6)29-0-10UnknownRecast 1683


1154 Record of 3 bells being hung in the Gundulf Tower by Prior Reginald, one of them coming from a former cracked bell.
1251 In the period 1251-74 there is a record that Richard of Waldedene made a bell called Andrew.
1343 Bishop Hamo de Hythe built up the central tower and hung 4 bells in it.
1545 Record of 6 bells in the central tower with the bells in the Gundulf Tower gone.
1635 3rd (of 6) recast by John Wilnar.
1683 5th and Tenor (of 6) recast by Christopher Hodson.
1695 Treble (of 6) recast by John Wood of Chancery Lane.
1711 Richard Phelps gave an estimate to recast the 4th (of 6) although he never actually did.
1712 4th (of 6) recast by James Bagley of Cripplegate, who also quarter-turned the 2nd.
1770 Treble (of 6) recast by Lester & Pack.
1834 Tenor (of 6) recast by Thomas Mears. The tower was rebuilt to a pinaccled design by L. N. Cottingham. The 6 bells hung in a frame probably installed at this time but resting upon the much earlier trasswork which still fills the ringing chamber today.
1838 Some bells repaired and rehung by John Stedman.
1840 Some bells repaired and rehung by John Stedman.
1843 Some bells repaired and rehung by John Stedman.
1882 Bells rehung and Ellacombe chiming apparatus restored by H. Stokes of Woodbury.
1904 Cottingham's work was demolished and the present bell chamber and spire were built and the lower part of the tower refaced by C Hodgson Fowler. Treble, 2nd, 3rd and 5th of 6 recast and the ring augmented to eight by Mears & Stainbank at the expense of Mr Thomas Hellyar Foord. Dedicated 30th November, 1904, by Dr Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury, and formerly Bishop of Rochester.
1918 The ringers forwarded the idea of augmenting the ring to 10 with the addition of 2 new treble bells. A survey was made of the tower to confirm that it was sturdy enough to accommodate these. [1]
1920 The cathedral architect gave the tower a clean bill of health and Mr Charles Willis volunteered to fund the new bells in memory of his son who was killed in the Great War. Estimates were requested from Mears & Stainbank and Gillett & Johnston. Gillett and Johnston quoted to strengthen the frame with 8 steel shanks and to tune the existing bells 1, 2 and 3, for which the ringers agreed to guarantee the expense. However the architect dismissed the need for the strengthening work. Gillett and Johnston quoted £248 for recasting the old 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 and retuning the remainder in April, but by September, having brought the bells into the foundry, they increased the price to £439. The Dean and Chapter refused to let the work proceed until all the money had been raised, and engaged the services of William W Starmer (bell expert and music lecturer from Tunbridge Wells) to advise. Starmer was a close friend and enthusiast of the John Taylor Bellfoundry, and wrote many letters saying how he was confident he could place the work in the hands of Taylors. He was very critical of Gillett & Johnston and could not identify a reason for the increase in price. However, having set out his own recommendation for having the entire ring recast, he sought quotes from both Gillett & Johnston and Taylors. In the event the Dean and Chapter stayed with Gillett & Johnston, and Starmer set out quality parameters to hold them to account; this certification cost Gillett & Johnton 50 guineas. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]
1921 Gillett & Johnston finally got to recast the bells, the money having been raised. Two new pits were formed on the south side: lowside frames on RSJs. [24] [25] [26] [27]
c 1935 The frame was braced by the erection of steel 'buttresses' at each corner. Clearly the architect of 1919 was in error when he declared that additional support was unnecessary.
1960 Bells rehung in a new frame by John Taylor.
1991 6 of the clappers were refurbished by John Taylor together with a number of pulley wheels.
2015 Some research pulled out a letter from Captain J W Todd of the US Navy to the Dean and Chapter which was reprinted in the Chatham News on 20 Dec 1920. It is clear they gave a substantial donation that allowed work to proceed on restoring the bells. This donation was acknowledged with the inscription "USS Pittsburgh" on the 3rd bell. In 1919, the Pittsburgh was prepared as flagship for the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in the eastern Mediterranean, for which she sailed from Portsmouth, New Hampshire on 19 June 1919. From here, she headed north to assist with relief assignments in the Baltic Sea, and it was here on the 9 September 1920 that she ran aground off of the coast of Latvia. She was escorted to the Royal Dockyard in sheerness, but subsequently moved up river to Chatham Dockyard to be put into dry dock. [28]
[1] "The Dean mentioned that it had been suggested that two additional bells should be provided in the Tower. It was resolved that this should not be done except upon a report from the Cathedral Architect that the additional weight would not in any way endanger the safety of the tower or the bell frame." (Chapter Minute Book, 25th Nov 1918)
[2] "The Dean reported that the Bellringers desired that two light bells should be added to the present peal, at an estimated cost of £270 by Messrs Mears & Stainbank if funds could be obtained. It was desired that the proposal must first be approved by the Cathedral Architect. " (Chapter Minute Book, 25th Nov 1918)
[5] It was reported that the Cathedral Architect had decided that the proposed struts to support the new bells were not necessary and that the Ringers were anxious that the old bells should be tuned and re-cast where necessary at an estimated cost of £248, which sum they hoped to be able to collect. It was ordered that the Chapter cannot consent to the expenditure being incurred unless the money is actually in hand. (Chapter minute book, 7 Jun 1920)
[6] Letter was received from Messrs Gillett & Johnston, Bell Founders, to the effect that the cost of tuning the 8 bells, 5 of them being recast, would be £439, and that there would be a loss of 6 cwt of metal in the process. The Chapter desired to know the reason for the increase in the estimate from April last when the amount was £248 - they also desired to know the reason for the loss of 6 cwt of metal. The Archdeacon kindly undertook to obtain information as to the proposed method of tuning the bells. (Chapter minute book, 6 Sep 1920)
[7] Just a line in haste to tell you that I have had a letter from the Dean and Chapter of Rochester asking me to advise them re the bells, so if you have had any communication re this let me know as soon as possible, so that I shall be aware of your recommendations. I cannot keep thinking that this is a Pusseyfoot job but at any rate, the Chapter Clerk says that my advice is required re the tuning and recasting of certain of the Cathedral Bells. I shall write in reply to this but nothing definite until I hear from you. (Letter from W W Starmer (bell advisor) to D Taylor (bellfounder) T395 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 25 Sept 1920)
[8] There had been talk for a year or two about the adding of two "trebles" to the old eight to make a ring of ten. Last January I was at a place called Frindsbury (just outside Rochester) about rehanging. (Incidentally I may say we lost this Frindsbury job, our euphoric friend of Ipswich [Alfred Bowell] securing it). While I was there the ringer took me up to see the Rochester Cathedral - just a flying visit. I took no particulars, but noted that the tower was unsuitable for ringing bells - a central tower - no decent height possible to be obtained between ringers and bells. Floor of bellframe and supporting beams and cross-pieces far from the desirable. Immediately after this we were asked to send estimate for the proposed two new trebles, so Prycie went down to take particulars in February, and submitted our tender. But we heard later that Pussyfoot [Cyril Johnston] had got the job. Whether he has hung the new bells yet I do not know, but I am inclined to think he may be recommending further recasting and if so that may be the reason why the Dean and Chapter are asking your advice. As to the bells, I take the following particulars from Prycie's note book of the old eight :- 1. 2' - 7½" Mears about 1907 2. 2 - 8½ ditto. 3. 2 - 11" Recast 1770 Pack & Chapman 4. 3 - 1½" Blank 5. about3 - 4" Blank 6. 3 - 7" Blank 7. 3 - 11½" Hodson 1683 8. 4 - 4" Mears (recast) 1834 Reputed weight of tenor 26¼-cwts. All the strike notes flat more or less and all the hums sharp. It must be rather a thick peal, as tenor nom. is 618 (E flat). The three largest noms. pretty well in tune together but all the rest get sharp. Now there you are. And what can you do in the matter. Tell the good D. & C. to have the job done by experts and not be amateurs and imitators - what !. Of course from our point of view I should say naturally don't put more in G. & J. hands. Tell them to carry out their contract. That the Dean and Chapter ought to have done was to have called you in first before beginning the job at all. (Letter from D Taylor to W W Starmer T1518 (Taylor's, Letterbooks, Volume 233, pp. 630-631) 27 Sept 1920)
[9] Many thanks for yours just received. Herewith I enclose communication just received from Rochester, which I want you to read and to just at once and return to me with every suggestion re doing down Pusseyfoot. I am on the war path and in this matter I shall have power. If I find that they are committed beyond redemption then as little work as possible. Be sure and let me have details as to the difference in the cost of metals and labour between April 1920 and Sep 1920. This is a strong point, re recommendation. Pick the estimate to the pieces. I will ask them for others, yours included, so go with the matter so that I can do the right thing. You can leave everything else to me the Simpson Principle included. I propose to go over to Rochester on Thursday afternoon. This will give time for your reply to reach me, by the 1st or 2nd post on Thursday morning. Better send it by registered post. Nothing from Huntsman yet. If Rochester will go in for a bigger scheme the whole completion of the situation will be altered. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T394 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 28 Sept 1920)
[10] I have offered to go to Rochester on Thursday – leaving Tun Wells 11.45 as they seem to want to get on with the job. I have worked out all my suggestions and have got my recommendations thoroughly settled. My line of action I will explain and you will come into line with it, more particularly if we can defeat Pusseyfoot, even if you send an estimate with only a 5% profit. Rochester Cathedral bells should be done by Taylor and I don't care a damn as long as I can get you to do the work. My plan will be to write a specification and instruct them to get estimates and this we shall come in. Leave it all to me and I will not fail you. I need not write such a thing. I know to you, but I am prepared to risk everything to get you this Cathedral job. You should do it and as I have said so often before to many people 'there is no compulsion but you must: You will understand me I know and although they offer me a measly fee of $5.5.0 to advise them, this is ever a greater incentive to make them do the right thing. My only trouble is as to whether they have already committed themselves. Still if I can get them to recast the whole lot and put in a new frame etc that will be the point where you will come in and where I shall be paramount re any other estimates. I hope I have sufficiently explained myself. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T393 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) Received 28 Sept 1920)
[11] Many thanks for your letter and I am on the job at once as there is no time to spare so I am posting this (Wed.) morning, and I sincerely hope you will receive it in time. First of all the increase that Johnston asks for now over his April prices is iniquitous. A child can see through his game. He thinks he has got the Dean and Chapter in the hollow of his hand, having three of their bells at his foundry, so he is out to demand any old price now that he thinks that he can get it. Wages have gone up certainly since April but not to that extent, perhaps 10%, and there is very little new material included in his estimate, so he cannot place much up of this increase to that account. His total estimate now stands as follows:- The two new smaller to make ten, and fittings framework, carriage and fixing 318 - 0 - 0 Recasting old 1,2,3,4 and 6, new clappers and ironwork for the recast bells and adjusting the rest of the existing fittings. Tuning 5, 7 and 8. Including taking down, carriage and refixing. Nett 439 - 0 - 0 [Grand Total] £757 - 0 - 0. There is no doubt Johnston was quoting very low at dirst in order to secure the job and now, having secured it, he wants to recoup by increasing his prices - smart business, what! Taking Johnson's specifications as bases we could quote £630. for the two new bells and the recasting of fives bells as recommended by him, instead of his £757. Between ourselves the £630. is a low price but still we could do the job at that. To go on a stage further I cannot grasp why Johnston has throught fit to omit the recasting of 5, 7 and 8 as these three bells are just as band as any of them, as you will find if you test them. What ought to be done would be to recast the whole lot and rehang in a new frame. That I think you will find is the obvious, when you see the job, but of course it is no use having the while job done throughly if Johnston gets it! I have not gone into detail with our specification as it could be an copy of Johnston's, and would still include such refixinf of clock hammers as may be necessary. It shows in this way the comparative prices better. He is also on his old dodge of reducing weights in his recasting. I do not quite follow why he calls the present tenor 27-cwts. It cannot be more than 25½, but perhaps it is reputed to be 27. By Johnston's weights the present eight weigh 111½- cwts. Recasting all into peal of ten same diameter tenor and slightly flatter, 25½-cwts., total 100-cwts., with new framework, fittings, taking down, fixing, &c. would be £1,450. Much more value for money than spending £750 on G. & J's scheme. I think I have answered all but if there is anything lacking you will be able to fill it in to the best advantage, and we will abide by what you say. Wishing you luck and awaiting further news. [The formal quote is given in the articles section.] (Letter from D Taylor to W W Starmer, (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 29 Oct 1920)
[12] Mr W W Starmer attended the Chapter by invitation and gave his opinion on the proposals of Messrs Gillett & Johnston and on their estimates. He advised the Chapter generally that it would be wise to have all the bells recast and tuned if it was decided to take that course with regard to any of them and he undertook to obtain from Messrs Gillett & Johnston an estimate of the cost of this which the Chapter would consider together with the estimates already received. (Chapter minute book, 6 Oct 1920)
[13] Now re Rochester. I have received an instruction to see Pusseyfoot re contract No 1 and also to write a proper specification of the work which must be carried out to my satisfaction. After deliberation I think i must only make the Hum, Strikes, and Nominals perfect octaves otherwise there will be trouble. Pusseyfoot phoned me in that night as to when he could see me, so they must have communicated with him re the Chapter meeting. I expect it will have to be Wednesday next but you shall hear the exact of whatever takes place. In spite of the fact that I feel that I am between the devil and the deep blue sea ! but as I do not care a damn for what does it matter. I feel that I am nothing but a buffer for the Dean and I know I am right, but my address in Loughborough ! via Tun Wells. There is something at the back of this job I have not found out yet but I will lay it before I have finished and you shall know, because Pusseyfoot shall be headed. The Dean seeks my advice. Why? Because he has got himself in the hole with the Chapter and has conducted to much personally without reference to them, and now wants me to justify his actions. I see it all as clear as a pikestaff and the ?bitter ?b of it all is that I am bound hand and foot and at present cannot help myself because they have committed themselves a like the damn fools they are. However we shall see and I shall do my best – for the best. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T388 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 9 Oct 1920)
[14] Re Rochester. Pussyfoot took over the job under those conditions and now you must make him carry it out without any recasting. (Letter from P Taylor to W W Starmer T1522 (Taylor's, Letterbooks, Volume 233, p. 839) 15 Oct 1920)
[15] Re Rochester. Have been to day at Croydon. The whole of the work re the first estimate is already completed, but the tuned Mears bells are damnable. What I can do under existing circumstances is an utter enigma. I am indeed between the devil and the deep blue sea, and much encompassed about. At the moment I do not know what to be at, now I am absolutely stupid with sleep and it is 2.a.m. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T385 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 19 Oct 1920)
[16] The question of recasting the Bells was further considered and Mr Harmer and Mr Johnston explained their views to the Chapter. It was ordered that a statement of the position be drawn up by the Dean and Archdeacon and made public in order to give possible donors an opportunity of offering a war memorial in connection with recasting the bells. That Messrs Gillett and Johnston be informed that the Chapter are not in a financial position to give an order, but are making their needs publicly known, and that they be asked to give a separate estimate for recasting each bell for purposes of appeal. (Chapter minute book, 23 Oct 1920)
[17] I have just got back from Rochester. The Dean and Chapter will not incur the cost specialising the bells but a public appeal is to be made to to get townspeople to pay for the recasting of the 8 bells and the Dean has promised to recast one. It is suggested that the work should be done as a war memorial by the individuals. If they can be found for the 8 bells. Then the Dean and Chapter might do something further but the Archdeacon, who is practically the Treasurer is dead against spending any further sums. I think the Dean himself is anxious to get the bells recast but I fancy the Chapter is against him re the cost. In any case I understand that there is a fine old row brewing as the Verger told me that on Monday there will be 2 deputations attending the Dean re the absence of the bells and nothing having been done re their replacement as they have no ? chorus and no bell ringing – and this has been going on for a very considerable time. These Deans and Chapters are awful combinations of simplicity and incompetence re any business matters. I have attended two before but I think Rochester takes the cake. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T386 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 23 Oct 1920)
[18] I am sorry to hear that Pussy may be getting the recasting of all the Rochester Cathedral bells; I suppose it was impossible to work us in in any way, so it is no use our bothering about it. (Letter from Taylor to W W Starmer T1523 (Taylor's, Letterbooks, Volume 233, pp. 980-981) 26 Oct 1920)
[19] I was very glad to hear from you. I have been busy beyond words for the past fortnight and this together with the upset of the train arrangements has worried me much. However I am pegging away as ?assured and although my work is anything but normal I keep on as I must. Now with regard to Pusseyfoot. His estimate may be very peculiar, but according to my specification retaining the present metal and thus altering the pitch of the bells, with a tenor of 30 cwt, the two new bells must be recast because they are absolutely out of the hunt under the conditions I have imposed. This accounts for £72. Next I have fixed my fee for certifying the tune of the bells at 50 guineas, which Johnston will have to pay. I have carefully considered the situation and you may be sure that I will see that the best thing is done even in the most adverse circumstances ! If I cannot do what I desire for you I will see that I do the best thing possible for myself in order to get from others what is justly due to me. Taking these items into consideration, Johnston with £72 for recasting and £52.10 for myself will not be in any affluent position. What think you of this? If he asks me again to certify his bells my fee will be 100 guineas, and then I shall say as in this case that the founder has fulfilled his obligations re the contract, which will be no testimonial in any sense of the word as to the tone or tune of his bells. Simply because he is ?wary enough to enter into no specific details. It suits him and it suits me very much more. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T381 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 4 Nov 1920)
[20] Re Rochester. I have heard nothing – no doubt Pussyfoot will do himself well as to price but he will have to recast the two new bells according to my recommendation as they are now the pitch of the present conglomerate collection. With a tenor of 30 cwts it will be absolutely necessary so there goes £72. Next I shall have to certify the bells for which my fee will be 50 guineas – another £52.10. This I have notified already. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T681 (Taylor's, Folder 57.1) 11 Nov 1920)
[21] Many thanks for yours. I did my best re Rochester whether it's borne out by the fact that the Dean and Chapter do no more than they are actually committed to. The state of the case is that the Dean wants the bells done and the Chapter will not pay. The question of the public appeal was not considered during the time I was at the Chapter Meeting and what I tell you re this is not official as far as the Chapter is concerned. Still I am sure of my information. The Clerk said that the other estimate cost was from Mears, and it was not admitted that any of the estimates had been received. They were very clear on this and no sweet words would draw them. Why I cannot imagine. I made the clerk produce to the estimate of Mears. The members of the Chapter were with ?me at absolutely as to who was doing the work and as my opinion was not asked re this I had no opportunity of saying anything about it, in fact I felt that anything I might say confidentially might be used against my recommendation! That was the atmosphere I was in. The position at present is that nothing has been accomplished re the recasting , to work of the original estimate has been carried out. I am sure the Dean has used me and my advice as the buffer between the Chapter and himself. As far as I know I shall not have to see the authorities again as the Clerk asked me to send in my account at once so I am doing so tonight and making it as ?big as I can you may be sure. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T383 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 29 Oct 1920)
[22] It was reported that the Bells had been taken away to be recast and the Chapter Clerk was instructed to ascertain whether a bell could be borrowed from Messrs Johnston to sound the hours of service and to take the strike of the Clock. (Chapter minute book, 17 Dec 1920)
[23] Re Pusseyfoot I have seen nothing re Exchange Bells but a picture in the Daily Mail and short par. in a Sunday paper about the new tuning discovery called the Simpson five tone principle!! But there is something re Mears and Rochester which will interest you and amuse you. If the Dean sends the letter I wrote him to them they will have food for reflection for some time to come and proper punishment for their imprudence. (Letter from W W Starmer to D Taylor T375 (Taylor's, Folder 14/14) 24 Dec 1920)
[24] It was reported that new ropes were required for the Bells and that the leather cases required repair. It was ordered that an estimate be obtained from Messrs Gillett & Johnston. (Chapter minute book, 29 Jan 1921)
[25] Bellringers - Letter was read from the Bell Ringers to the effect that they desired to give their salary received by them for the period during which the bells were not in use to the Bells Fund, for which the Chapter desired to record their thanks to the Ringers. (Chapter minute book, 28 Feb 1921)
[26] Messrs Gillett & Johnston's estimate of £2.10.- for 10 Indian rubber sleeves for the chiming rope and £24 for extending the chiming apparatus to take in the new bells and supplying and completing all necessary attachments and completing were accepted. (Chapter minute book, 7 Apr 1921)
[27] The account of Messrs Gillett & Johnston in connection with the Bells was produced and examined by the Chapter and it was ordered that the account be paid. (Chapter minute book, 10 Jun 1921)
[28] OFFICERS AND MEN GIVE A BELL TO ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL The following letter sent this week to the Dean of Rochester, speaks for itself:- Dear Dr. Storrs, - Before the ship sails from Chatham, I wish to express to you our appreciation of the honour you have done us, in coming on board to address my officers and men, and for the special service which you held for us in your Cathedral. We are grateful for these kindnesses, and I beg you to thank Mrs. Storrs, and the ladies of Rochester, for their entertainment of our men in the Guildhall, Rochester. I hand you herewith a cheque for £52 10s, from Admiral Huse, the Officers and Men of Pittsburg, to cover the cost of re-casting a bell for the Cathedral chimes. I understand that it is agreeable to you to have the bell marked: U.S.S. Pittsburgh, 1920. Please accept this as a token of our great appreciation of kindnesses received, and of our sincere desire that our two peoples may always happily associate and feel as kindly toward each other, as we do, to our hosts of the last two-and-a-half months. May the Pittsburgh bell sound from the Tower of your ancient town a sweet tone, a note of goodwill from us to you. Sincerely and respectfully yours, J. W. TODD, Capt. U.S. Navy, Comdg. (Chatham News, 20 Dec 1920)


  • "Gillett & Johnston Press Cuttings. Cathedral Memorial Bells", Buswell, Alan A J (The Ringing World) 11 August 1978
  • "Rochester - 1400 years of Ministry, 100 years of Ringing", Jones, Neil W (The Ringing World) 8 October 2004
  • "Quotation from Taylors for new bells in 1920", Taylor, Denison (T1519 (Taylor's, Letterbooks, Volume 233, pp. 667-671)) 29 September 1920
  • The bells in the belfry

    The bells in the Croydon foundry, 1921.
    Photo: Gillett & Johnston archive.

    The treble.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the 3rd.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the 3rd.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the 4th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the 4th
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the 5th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the 5th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the 6th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the 6th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the 7th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the 7th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    The 8th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the 9th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the 9th.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Front of the tenor.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Back of the tenor.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Photo: Dickon Love, 2009

    Tenor bell.
    Photo: Gillett & Johnston archive.

    Pictures from 1921

    The bells arrive from Croydon, with the 3rd is in the foreground.
    Photo: Medway Collection (Roger Smoothy, via the Dean of Rochester)

    Posing with the tenor bell.
    Photo: Medway Collection (Roger Smoothy, via the Dean of Rochester)

    Peal Boards

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2007
    28 May 2007: 5040 Cambridge S Royal (Birth of Yana Jones and 40th birthday of Neil Jones.)

    Photo: Dickon R Love, 29 December 2018

    Ceramic Performance Board dated approx. 1905
    21 Oct 1905: 5024 Plain Bob Major (Centenary of Lord Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.)

    Photo: Dickon R Love, 29 December 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 2005
    25 Sept 2004: 5040 Grandsire Triples (Centenary of Rochester Cathedral Company, 1400th anniversary of the cathedral, birth of Ellen Jones.)
    10 Nov 2004: 5003 Grandsire Caters (1400th anniversary celebrations attended by the Prince of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury.)

    Photo: Dickon R Love, 29 December 2018

    Framed card Photograph Board dated approx. 1961

    Photo: Dickon R Love, 29 December 2018

    Framed card Bell/Restoration Detail Board dated approx. 1834

    Photo: Dickon R Love, 29 December 2018

    Framed card Bell/Restoration Detail Board dated 1921

    Photo: Dickon R Love, 29 December 2018

    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 5 May 2020