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  • FIRST POST
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 18th Oct 16, 3:50 PM
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    jpsartre
    What's this thingamajig called?
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 16, 3:50 PM
    What's this thingamajig called? 18th Oct 16 at 3:50 PM
    I've got this handle kind of thing on my wall next to my fireplace. The cover is missing and I would like to look for a replacement but I have no idea what the thing is called. Any help?

    http://i67.tinypic.com/2nroqic.jpg
Page 1
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 18th Oct 16, 3:55 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 3:55 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 3:55 PM
    What does it do?
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 18th Oct 16, 4:09 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:09 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:09 PM
    It looks like the sort of thing that you use to summon servants from below stairs.

    A bell pull.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 18th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
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    Biggles
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
    You must be in an old Victorian house; we had a four-story one some years ago.

    You turn the handle, which pulls on a wire within the walls, which runs down to the basement - at one time the servants' quarters - and pulls on a bell on a spring.

    When we lived there, there was still a board in the basement with a row of bells on it. When one of the bells rang, they were supposed to see which one it was and scamper up to that room to see what they wanted.

    Happy days!
    Last edited by Biggles; 18-10-2016 at 4:23 PM.
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 18th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
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    jpsartre
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
    What does it do?
    Originally posted by TheCyclingProgrammer
    Nothing as far as I can tell.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 18th Oct 16, 4:32 PM
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    teddysmum
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:32 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:32 PM
    There's a photo of a complete one lower down the page in this article.


    OP, you don't live a house like that, do you ?


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3330604/Servants-bells-hidden-former-home-Westonbirt-Arboretum-designer.html
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 18th Oct 16, 4:36 PM
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    jpsartre
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:36 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:36 PM
    You must be in an old Victorian house; we had a four-story one some years ago.

    You turn the handle, which pulls on a wire within the walls, which runs down to the basement - at one time the servants' quarters - and pulls on a bell on a spring.

    When we lived there, there was still a board in the basement with a row of bells on it. When one of the bells rang, they were supposed to see which one it was and scamper up to that room to see what they wanted.

    Happy days!
    Originally posted by Biggles
    Indeed, it looks like it's a servants bell. "Rotary servants bell" pulls up some similar images on Google although they seem to be rarer than I had hoped for. If anyone knows of a more common name do let me know.
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 18th Oct 16, 4:43 PM
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    Ganga
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:43 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:43 PM
    As it is next to the fireplace is it not some sort of control for the flue?
    does the handle turn round and round or only move so far in both directions.
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 18th Oct 16, 4:44 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:44 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 4:44 PM
    I have a little bell that I ring ............. and then one of the servants comes and turns the handle for me!
    • Ant555
    • By Ant555 18th Oct 16, 4:50 PM
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    Ant555
    As it is next to the fireplace is it not some sort of control for the flue?
    does the handle turn round and round or only move so far in both directions.
    Originally posted by Ganga
    Thats what I was thinking, something to control the air flow to an open fire


    Look at the third or fourth picture down this page - more modern but very similar
    http://inspectapedia.com/heat/Ductwork_Zone_Dampers.php

    It probably does nothing practical now but this might help you locate something as a replacement item

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Ant555; 18-10-2016 at 4:54 PM.
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 18th Oct 16, 5:02 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 399 Thanks
    Jackieboy
    Thats what I was thinking, something to control the air flow to an open fire


    Look at the third or fourth picture down this page - more modern but very similar
    http://inspectapedia.com/heat/Ductwork_Zone_Dampers.php

    It probably does nothing practical now but this might help you locate something as a replacement item

    Hope this helps
    Originally posted by Ant555
    But that's an American site talking about furnaces, not a simple UK fireplace. I've had several homes with working firplaces and seen nothing like that.
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 18th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
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    jpsartre
    As it is next to the fireplace is it not some sort of control for the flue?
    Originally posted by Ganga
    That's what I thought might be the case and why I mentioned it was next to my fireplace. Looking at photos however, it seems more likely to be a servant bell. The handle is blocked and can't be turned so whatever function it once had is no longer served.

    Maybe I should add that I live in Edinburgh and have similar handles in other Edinburgh flats.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 18th Oct 16, 9:20 PM
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    Biggles
    Looking at photos however, it seems more likely to be a servant bell.
    Originally posted by jpsartre
    That's exactly what it is, as per post #4. They always seem to be on the chimney breast, I guess it's where it's easiest to run the wires down through the house.
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