Great George – An Interview with a Tweeting Bell

Humble Spider was privileged to be granted an exclusive Interview with @GreatGeorgeWMB earlier this month. We tweeted from our respective towers, and George revealed some hitherto unknown facts….


Would you like a page of your own, illustrious bell?


That would be lovely, so long as you don’t post pictures of me in compromising positions. I trust you.


OK. No compromise. If illustrious bell were to answer some interview-like questions, spider could reach new journalistic heights… Mr Bell… George… How would you like the humble spider to address you?


The correct etiquette is Great George, but you can call me George. The staff here call me GG.


Great George, can you describe who you are for all of the interested readers?


I am a 9.5 tonne bell and I reside in the Wills Memorial Building tower at the University of Bristol.


There are numerous (although less illustrious) bells up and down the country which chime the hours – what made you decide to tweet as well?

I was lonely, not very well understood and in danger of slipping into a Brasso-fuelled decline. The consequences would have been terrible.

Would you count that as your lowest moment?

No. Lowest moment was when I was partially submerged below ground level in my casting pit at the foundry.


Is it unusual for a bell to have a clear memory of their casting?


I don’t remember the casting itself. I became “aware” when the cope was lifted off.


Where were you cast?


I was cast at the Taylor Bell Foundry, Loughborough. It was July 1924.


Would you recommend Tweeting as a rewarding extra activity for other, chiming, bells? Ones that are nervously thinking of taking the plunge?


It is very rewarding and I have made many friends. It also allows me to carry out quality control checks with my audience.


What has been your proudest moment?


That’s a tricky one. I think ringing in the year 2000 at midnight ranks highest. It was very exciting and the ringers all wore head torches.


Am I to infer that you share your tower with bells hung for change ringing? Spider always pictured you hanging out alone.


I am a solo bell. The ringers always have to come in a group to ring me. It seems to take a lot of effort. Maybe they aren’t very strong?


Thank you Great George. Do you have a final thought for the readers?

Look after your bells and, in return, we will watch over you.

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