Featured Carillon Projects

St. George’s Anglican Church, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

This original 23-bell carillon was made by the Gillett & Johnston foundry in Croydon, England in 1925. Besides the baton playing keyboard, it formerly included a pneumatic playing system by which the bells could be played from the organ console in the church. A large swinging bell, cast in 1872 by Meneely & Company of West Troy, NY was mounted stationary atop the G. & J. carillon frame when the carillon was installed; this bell of nearly 4,000 lbs. is locally known as “Big George”. We removed all the bells and existing framing and equipment in early June of 2006, bringing the 23 carillon bells and Big George to our foundry at Georgetown for the fitting of new clappers and other bell hardware. We cast an A3 bell of approximately 1,100 lbs. to fill the originally-omitted second semitone of the carillon, and an additional octave of 12 treble bells to complete the compass to 3 octaves, 36 bells. The enlarged carillon, along with Big George, was reinstalled in the church tower by us in late September of 2006, we doing the lowering and hoisting of the bells through floor openings within the tower; we supplied an entirely new and replanned bell frame, making possible a new radial carillon action, and supplied new playing and practice keyboards. A Gillett & Johnston tower clock was installed with the carillon, and is still in use today. The quarter chime train strikes the Westminster chimes on four of the bells of the carillon, and the hour train strikes the hours on the carillon bourdon. We provided new gravity hammers and new connections for the time striking by this clock. The carillon was reopened with a recital by Gordon Slater, Dominion Carillonneur of Canada in late October, 2006. Richard Watson, partner in our firm, presented a recital in April, 2007, as part of the observances of the 175th Anniversary of the founding of St. George’s Parish. (www.saintgeorge.ca)

Original G&J playing keyboard; now preserved in Guelph Museum
The great tolling bell, Big George, in original mountings --- Meneely & Co., 1972
Original Gillett & Johnston tower clock; note doube-three-legged gravity escapement
The G & J bells in the foundry for fitting their new clappers
Sweeps for the new A3 bell, cut on our CNC vertical machining center
Pattern for new A3 bell made from sweeps
Mold for new A3 bell ready to be closed down for pouring
Casting the new A3 bell
Breaking the new A3 bell out of its mold
Tuning the new A3 bell on our larger tuning machine
Tuning the new treble bells
The new playing keyboard installed
The new practice keyboard installed