Committees: Hingham Memorial Bell Tower Committee
2013 Annual Report
The room on the second floor is dedicated to the Rev. Peter Hobart, leader of the first settlers from Hingham England who founded the Town in 1635. The room was originally paneled in Cypress and furnished with Elizabethan antiques, which are now on temporary loan to the Old Ship Church. The room was renovated and reopened to the public in June of 1982.
The bells on the top level are Change Ringing bells. Hingham has the only set of 11 Change Ringing bells (most towers have 8) in North America and is one of only 20 sets on Change Ringing bells in North America. They are copies of bells in and around Old Hingham that the settlers would have heard before they left in 1632. The bells are cast by Mears and Stainbank at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. The lightest bell weighs 550 lbs. and stands 3.5 feet high, the heaviest bell weights 2,262 lbs. and stands nearly 6 feet high. When ringing, the bells are balanced in the mouth-up position (upside down). The ringer pulls on his rope which is attached to a wheel that allows the bell to swing and causes the bell to swing in a 360 degree circle and stop mouth-up again. The ringer then pulls the rope again which causes his bell to swing back the other way and stop mouth-up again. The methods rung are called changes. The order that the bells are rung is changed by the ringers who slow down or speed up their bell to facilitate this method. The order of the bells is changed on every pull of the rope and no two changes are repeated.
The tower is open on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30. The bells are rung during that time. Anyone interested in learning to ring is welcome to join us on Tuesday evenings. Change Ringing does not require a great deal of strength nor musical ability. We are always eager to have new ringers join us.
The tower has had some needed renovations done in late 2013 and at some point we hope that the bells can be shipped back to Whitechapel for retuning.
Kenneth W. Drescher