Friday, 1 August 2014
Bell Foundry at Villedieu les Poeles, Normandy
Our guide could have entered for Britain's Got Talent, except he was French - he was a real entertainer, leaping about joyously from one item to another and regaling us with stories. We learned that this is one of only 2 bell foundries in France and of course most of the bells made will become part of a carillon, or will simply be tolled: I think it is mainly the British who exercise the skill of ringing changes.
In the courtyard there were plenty of bells available to try out: a friend and I landed a rather heavy-handed clout with the hammer on one very large bell and frightened all the waiting tourists with the vast booming swell of sound that shook the area (it frightened us too!).