Great George to chime for anniversary of University’s Royal Charter
Press release issued: 23 May 2011
Great George, the nine-and-a-half-ton bell in the tower of the University of Bristol’s Wills Memorial Building, will ring for five minutes at 1 pm on Wednesday 25 May to mark the anniversary of the University’s Royal Charter.
Charter Day marks the date, 24 May 1909, when King Edward VII granted the University its Royal Charter enabling it to confer degrees and formally establishing the University of Bristol.
Huw Lloyd-Jones, Deputy Director of Campaigns & Alumni Relations at the University, said: “It is important to commemorate such a momentous occasion in both the city’s and University’s history. We hope the ringing of Great George will remind people that the Charter has enabled the University to evolve into one of the most sought after academic establishments in the country.
“The University, which has students and staff from over 100 countries, forms an important part of Bristol’s history. The event is a celebration of its shared heritage with the city from which it grew, and the University looks forward to playing a significant role in the region’s future.”
Great George will be rung by the University of Bristol Society of Change Ringers, led by Matthew Tosh, one of the Society’s alumni members.
Great George was cast in 1924 and is reputed to be the finest E-flat bell in Europe and one of the deepest-toned bells in the world. It is the sixth-largest bell in England and is believed to be the third-largest that can be rung by hand. It is 6ft 9” high and 8ft 4” in diameter and can be heard 12 miles away. It is named after George V, George Oatley and George Wills. On special occasions, a team of bell-ringers swings the bell using its rope and mounted wheel, allowing the bell's clapper to strike the inside of the bell, producing a much louder and richer sound than when the clock hammer chimes, and causing the tower to vibrate. The bell was last rung for the Royal Wedding in April 2011.
The University of Bristol Society of Change Ringers (UBSCR)
The University of Bristol Society of Change Ringers was founded in 1943. The 300 plus membership is made up of current and past students and staff of the University of Bristol. Members of UBSCR can be found all over the world.