Campanologist Of The Week
February 18, 2017
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Of course, it is Ian Bowman whose accident last Saturday evening in the bell tower at Worcester cathedral has been well publicised. His foot got caught in the ropes and to his consternation he was pulled up and flipped over, before plunging down and hitting the belltower’s marble floor. He broke a bone in his back and had to be winched down 80 feet to safety.
Bowman’s ordeal brought to mind Gerard Hoffnung’s wonderful Bricklayer’s story. The said bricklayer was using a barrel and a pulley system to bring some bricks down. “Unfortunately, the barrel of bricks was heavier than I was and before I knew what was happening, the barrel started down, jerking me off the ground. I decided to hang on.
Halfway up, I met the barrel coming down…and received a severe blow on the shoulder.
I then continued to the top, banging my head against the beam and getting my fingers jammed in the pulley.
When the barrel hit the ground, it burst it’s bottom..allowing all the bricks to spill out.
I was now heavier than the barrel and so started down again at high speed.
Halfway down…I met the barrel coming up and received severe injury to my shins.
When I hit the ground..I landed on the bricks, getting several painful cuts from the sharp edges.
At this point..I must have lost my presence of mind..because I let go of the line.
The barrel then came down..giving me a very heavy blow and putting me in hospital”.
At least Bowman didn’t let go!