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Sally

Wednesday 26 December 2012

I was delighted to find a new meaning of the word sally. I’ll let Charles Dickens explain, as he describes a visit to St Saviour’s Church at Southwark (now Southwark Cathedral). He has just climbed the stone stairs up to the bell ringers’ room in the tower…

The ropes of the twelve bells pass through holes in the ceiling, and reach the floor. Under each is a little raised platform for the ringer to stand on, with a strap for his foot to help him in getting a good purchase and each rope half way up is covered by some four feet by a fluffy, woolly looking covering, technically called a “sally” and intended to afford a good hold to the ringer as he checks his bell in the pull down.​—​Charles Dickens, All the year round, 27 February 1869. [via].
BellRopeSally.jpg
A set of new bell ropes, each with a red, white and blue sally, waiting to be installed at another St Savior’s Church, in Dartmouth.

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