THE BELLS, THE BELLS
The original peal of 6 bells was presented to St. Thomas' by Rev. R. Cattley in 1852. A fire in the tower on 11th February 1912 destroyed them. However, they were recast and replaced later that year. An additional 2 bells were added in 1926 to complete the octave.
In the church Year Book of 1928 - 29 there is an article which states that, 'the eight bells are cast of best quality bell-metal, copper and tin alloy and are accurately tuned to equal temperament on Messrs. Taylor's special "true harmonic" system, which, stated briefly, means that the overtones, or harmonics, of the bells are controlled so as to bear a definite musical relationship to the fundamental tone; this ensures great sweetness and purity of tonal effect'.
The note and weight of each of the eight bells is as follows :-
NOTE WEIGHT IN Cwt APPROX WEIGHT IN Kg
12 cwt 3 qrs 7 lb
9 cwt 0 qrs 22 lb
7 cwt 0 qrs 2 lb
5 cwt 2 qrs 24 lb
4 cwt 1 qrs 6 lb
3 cwt 2 qrs 5 lb
3 cwt 1 qrs 7 lb
3 cwt 0 qrs 0 lb
The peal is hung stationary (i.e., not to swing) in a steel framework, and the bells are played by one person by means of a Chiming Apparatus from a manual. (See photos below)
Two of the bells bear an inscription as follows.
The one on the Largest Bells reads :-
A PEAL OF BELLS WAS PRESENTED TO THIS
CHURCH IN 1852 BY REV. R. CATTLEY, CURATE
OF THIS PARISH.
DESTROYED BY FIRE, 11TH FEBRUARY, 1912.
RECAST BY JOHN TAYLOR & CO., LOUGHBOROUGH.
ERNEST B. SAVAGE, VICAR.
A. M. JACKSON, CHURCHWARDENS.
GOD BLESS THIS CHURCH AND PARISH
Whilst the inscription on the smallest bell reads :-
THE TWO SMALLER BELLS
TO COMPLETE THE OCTAVE WERE
PRESENTED IN 1926 BY HIS WIFE
AND FAMILY IN MEMORY OF
CHURCHWARDN OF THIS CHURCH, 1919 to 1926
N. J. POOLE, VICAR
E. P. BROADHEAD, CHURCHWARDENS.
In The Manx Church Magazine of 1891 it is reported that the Rev. Richard Cattley was curate of Onchan 1851 - 1854 but was living in Douglas and assisting the Rev. W Simpson, chaplain of St. Thomas'. In 1852 his son was born and as a thank Offering he presented the Peal of Bells.
The report also states that two years later he, 'met with such marked discourtesy from a Customs House Officer on the pier, he could not contemplate the risk of a repetition - so left the Island permanently, although he was building a house in Victoria Road at the time, as a residence'.
He later became a Minor Canon of Worcester Cathedral. He died in 1903 and at the hour of his funeral at Worcester, one of the Bells of St. Thomas' was tolled.