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We recently featured a video of the giant bell, Great Tom, in full swing. Little did we imagine that the Crotch Crescent story would prompt a further tintinnabulatory revelation, this time from no less an eminence than John Lloyd, the legendary producer of Blackadder and founder of QI. He writes:

“William Crotch (1775-1847) was a musician and musical genius. He started playing his father’s organ at the age of two. There is a painting of him wearing a dress, aged three, in the National Portrait Gallery. Aged four, he played for the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace. He was Organist of Christ Church at 15, Oxford Professor of Music at 22 and the first President of the Royal Academy of Music (1822-1832). He wrote the well-known hymn ‘Lo, star-led chiefs Assyrian odours bring’. Less well-known is his ‘Experiment in Motivic Saturation’, which theorists still pore over. His lasting legacy is having written the Westminster Chimes of Big Ben.” – JL

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Two final reflections on street names, before we leave this fascinating topic. Thanks, as ever, to Colin Bundy and Liz Woolley:

“You didn’t mention Turl Street. Until 1722, it was accessed through a ‘twirling gate’ in the old city wall – hence Turl. And, your readers probably know this already – forgive me – but one of the better donnish jokes asks: ‘How is Turl Street like the Anglican Church? Because it runs from Broad to High – and bypasses Jesus entirely.’