The Art of Bell Making

Media Release

19 September 2013

David Potter from John Taylor and Co of Loughborough - the foundry that cast the 55 bells for the National Carillon - will present a free public lecture this Friday night.

Mr Potter's presentation titled, 'Taylor Made for Canberra: The Art of Bell Making' will explore the process undertaken by the foundry to make the bells for Australia's National Carillon. Mr Potter is the current president of the York Minister Society of Change Ringers and was the Ringing Master at the York Minister Cathedral for 25 years.

Acting NCA Chief Executive, Andrew Smith said Mr Potter was invited to give a presentation to mark Canberra's centenary.

'It is fitting the story of the National Carillon be shared as we celebrate our centenary year, as it was a gift from the British Government to the people of Australia for the 50th anniversary of the National Capital. ' Mr Smith said.

'Mr Potter will also share his knowledge with our carillonists during his time in Canberra, to assist with their ongoing professional development.'

Mr Potter's involvement with bells began at the age of 10 at his local parish church in London. He moved to the historic city of York in the north of England in 1967 and was skilled enough to be elected into the York Minster Society of Change Ringers on his arrival. Within five years he had been elected Ringing Master at the Cathedral, a position he held for the next 25 years. To mark his time as ringing master and for the many bell restoration projects he has undertaken in York, Mr Potter was awarded The Cross of St William of York by the Archbishop and the Cathedral's Dean and Chapter, and an MBE by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

A carillon is a set of at least 23 cast and tuned bronze bells, played from a mechanical-action keyboard. With 55 bronze bells, the National Carillon is large by world standards, and the largest in Australia. The pitch of the bells ranges chromatically through four and a half octaves, and each bell weighs between seven kilograms and six tonnes.

The public lecture will be held on Friday 20 September, 6pm to 7pm at the National Capital Exhibition, Barrine Drive. Spaces are limited.

Click here to RSVP (before 3pm, 20 September 2013).