VIDEO: A Look Inside the FUSN Bell Tower in West Newton Square
In January of this year, mechanisms within the 96-year-old bells (or "chime") were replaced with new, stronger metal springs and cables. To celebrate, FUSN will hold concerts this summer featuring music from the bells -- starting next Tues., July 17.
You've likely heard the bells while walking through West Newton -- but do you know what they look like or how they are played?
Newton Patch had a chance to walk up to the bell tower at the First Unitarian Society in Newton (FUSN) earlier this month and check out the bells (known as a chime) as well as hear a few tunes from local chimers Bob Feldman and Gayle Smalley.
The chime, which was built in 1916, recently underwent a few renovations; the 96-year-old mechanisms that attach the bells to the wooden handles (which play the notes) were replaced with strong metal springs, cable connections and turnbuckles.
The new mechanisms allow for easier playing, more control over dynamics (loud/soft) and better overall sound.
To celebrate the recently renovated chime, FUSN will be holding a series of concerts this summer where local chimers will play a program of music from the bell tower. During the concerts, residents are encouraged to set up a blanket on the FUSN lawn or in the park across the street and enjoy the music.
The one-hour concerts will be held on the following dates and start at 7 p.m.:
- Tues., July 17
- Tues., July 31
- Thurs., August 16
According to Smalley, around 8-10 regular chimers participate in playing the chime, which is typically heard on Sunday mornings before or after the services at FUSN.
The concerts, she added, will feature several chimers on each program.