• Alison Hodge
    Remembrance Sunday is about a month away. Hopefully, this year more towers will be able to ring in the "normal" way.

    Having needed to find and fit the muffles for a funeral at a local tower this week, i have come across a few styles of bell muffles.

    What fixings do steeple keepers use that successfully prevent the muffles slipping round the clapper ball? I will see later whether the ones I have used will be correctly muffled for the whole of the service ringing.
  • James Kirkcaldy
    My experience of Big Wilfs is very good, especially once the ball and flight have been painted with non-slip paint (Exeter Cathedral has used these for years without issue, including peals).
    Unfortunately, Wilf has ceased production. I'm unsure whether others use industrial strength velcro, as Wilf did.
  • Simon Linford
    Was Wilf's productions facility / business bought by someone?
  • Mark Elvers
    Alison, We use this leather style. I find the key is to make them very tight. I wrap the top strap around four times with the second two wraps on top of the first two and pull it as tight as I can. Then below the ball the strap usually only goes around twice leaving a longish tail. I take lose end and feed it through underneath the strap making it tighter and then fold it over and feed it through again making it tighter still and getting rid of the lose end. See photo. rNtMln1.jpg
  • Alison Hodge
    Thanks Mark - yes, the leather straps do need to be very tightly buckled or they will slip round. The key point is to take up any slack left when the buckle holes are not quite in the best position. I have seen some people use rubber strips (typically old bike tubing) as a spacer or even blue tack - but blue tack is rather messy!

    The muffles in the local tower that I used last week were designed with a strap on one side plus leather laces on the other. The lacing did not fix the muffle firmly enough but someone had obviously also found this so there were 6 large jubilee clips in the box that could be tightened over the leather that would have been laced. No problem with the muffles slipping, but next time i would inset a strip of rubber inner tube between the leather and jubilee clip - i fear that the jubilee clips would cut into the leather if the bells were rung for example for a quarter or longer.
  • Robin Shipp
    I was at Avon Ropes today to arrange a replacement stay. I discovered that they have now taken over Big Wilf's business - very amicably, I understand. Philip is an old friend of Big Wilf.
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