This week has been a rather unusual one thus far for the Bathurst CBD, as the bells of the Bathurst War Memorial Carillon have been notably silent.
The silence has been necessary due to an ongoing project to upgrade the bells inside the Carillon for the first time since the memorial was opened in 1933.
The works will see the replacement of the existing top octave of bells, as well as the installation of a brand new higher octave of bells.
“The brand new octave will be known as the ‘peace bells,’” Carillon War Memorial Group member Jan Page said.
“They’re taking the roof off the Carillon, removing the top lot of bells and replacing them with the new ones.”
The works currently being carried out is phase one of a project that will see the Carillon finally completed in the way it was originally intended.
“The original idea was to install a clavier, which is the correct playing mechanism for a carillon,” Ms Page said.
“They were unable to do so at the time due to insufficient funds and the absence of a suitable candidate to play the instrument.”
A clavier is a large wooden instrument that is commonly played with clenched fists.
The installation of a clavier will be phase two of the Carillon upgrade project, and is expected to be completed by mid-2019.
Ms Page said the Carillon will sound noticeably different once the upgrades are fully complete.
“The new bells have been cast using a better quality alloy, which will enhance the Carillon’s sound,” she said.
“When we get a clavier, it’s going to sound completely different because the clavier enables music to be played with all its dynamics.”
The upgrade works are being assisted by experts from the Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Loughborough, England, the company who manufactured the new bells.
The Taylor’s Bell Foundry also manufactured the Carillon’s original bells in 1928.
Ms Page is excited to see the Carillon finally completed in full.
“We’ll finish up with an excellent instrument that will then make it a proper carillon,” she said.
The Carillon is one of three in Australia.