Sometimes people who are new to the area notice things that everyone else has missed. That aptly-named Dale from Yorkshire has only been living here for three months but he wonders whether anyone else has noticed that Christ Church’s bells are out of sync. He says:

“Every morning when I’m musing over a hot pot of tea and a slice of jam on toast, I await seven bells from the church at the end of Christchurch Way. This is the signal to finish my breakfast, brush my teeth and think about leaving the house….

However I have noticed that seven bells in Christchurch isn’t seven bells in the rest of the country, it’s usually 2,3 or even 4 minutes past. Now considering the church’s location of Greenwich this seems somewhat ironic.”

Dale wonders if the bells are rung manually – something I doubt very much indeed in this day and age.

Now I confess that not a single clock Chez Phantom is actually accurate enough to be able to test this. Indeed not one clock in the house is actually in sync with any other. I’d always just assumed that the bells were right.

There is an experiment to be done here. We need to find a place to stand somewhere along Romney Road where we can both see the time ball and hear the bells. Probably several days running so we can see if it’s consistently wrong or just a bit random. I suppose we could use the BBC time-pips – but it would be a less – well – Greenwich way of doing it…

While we’re on the subject of bells, I’ve been wondering recently what happened to St Alphege’s ten bells? I read about them in one of my booksale-lovelies – but since it was written in 1897, I don’t know what happened to them. Did they go along with the rest of the interior in March, 1941?

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