George Cadbury Memorial Carillon, Bournville Village Primary School
The original two octave carillon of 22 bells (missing the keyboard C#, D# and G# in the bottom octave) was given by George Cadbury (1839-1922) and installed in 1906 in a stone belfry on the north-west corner of the school tower, with the clavier in the clock room below. These bells, with a bass of 17 cwt (893 kg) in F, were cast by J. Taylor & Co. Fifteen bells were added in 1923, making a fully chromatic three octave carillon of 37 bells, still with the 17 cwt F as the bass. Five more bells followed in 1925, also Taylor’s, creating an instrument of 42 bells (three and a half chromatic octaves missing two bass semitones) with a bass of 40 cwt (2076 kg) in C. Due to constraints of space, the three new bass bells were hung on the tower roof next to the belfry. In 1934, the carillon was augmented by Gillett and Johnston to its current total of 48 bells with a bass of 64 cwt (3260 kg) in A#. This work entailed the replacement of all except four of the Taylor bells (the original 1906 bass and the three additional basses of 1925). The original belfry and timber bell frame were replaced by the present copper “bandstand” structure and steel bell frame, and a new clavier was installed in a cabin next to the bell frame. The impetus for these later augmentations came from George Cadbury’s son, George Cadbury Junior (1878-1954). In 1951 the two largest bells were moved to their present higher position, having previously been in the bottom of the frame level with the clavier. In 1988 Taylor’s carried out a major renovation, including a new clavier, transmission and clappers. Most recently, in 2015 the smallest 25 bells were replaced, again by Taylor’s. The carillon is owned and administered by the Bournville Village Trust, which was established in 1900 by George Cadbury, who is most famous for his chocolate factory.
The carillon is normally played on Saturdays commencing at 12:00 and 15:00, though this is sometimes subject to change. It is also played for some weddings and other special occasions. The carillon is promoted by an active Friends organisation and the Carillon Visitor Centre in the rest house on the village green. The Visitor Centre is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4.30pm, except during January. More information, including recital schedules and programmes, can be found on the website (link below). The carillon can be heard on YouTube and on Vimeo
Bells: 48 (four chromatic octaves missing one bass semitone)
Heaviest bell:, pitched to A#, 64 cwt, 0 qr, 18 lb (3260 kg)
Transposition: down 2 semitones (bottom note of clavier is C)
Practice clavier: There are two non-identical practice claviers – one in the tower clock room converted from the previous carillon clavier, and one purpose-made in the George Cadbury Carillon School.
1906, 1923, 1925, J. Taylor & Co.
1934, Gillett & Johnston
2015, J. Taylor & Co.
Carillonneur: Trevor Workman
Assistant carillonneur: Charlotte Barber