Posted by Ed Kiser on August 14, 2017 at 07:54:06 user Kisered.
The concept of using BELLS to announce the time probably originated
with the Swallows's Father, who was an officer in the Royal Navy.
"Four bells of the middle watch," said Captain John, who had
looked at the chronometer with his pocket torch and had just
put it into ship's time for himself.
"What is it in real time?" asked Peggy.
"Two o'clock in the morning," said Captain John. After all,
there were some things these Amazons did not know.
[In the later stories of the series, it seems that Nancy had
become familiar with the concept of telling time with bells.]
We'll bring our own rations. This is just in case you might
all be exploring if you didn't know we were coming. Expect
us about eight bells of the forenoon watch (John knows
[Part of a note from Swallows's Mother, who seemed quite comfortable
with the concept of bells telling time.]
Nancy threw the core of her apple into the camp fire and asked
Captain John to look at his chronometer, it was already past
eight bells, and it was clear that even if Captain Nancy and Mate
Peggy ran the whole way home, they had not the smallest chance
of being back for tea.
Nancy's cheerful voice changed suddenly. "The great-aunt
won't be saying how good we are if we're a minute late for
supper. Come on, Peggy. What's the time, John?"
John looked at his watch, but did not put the time into bells.
It was far too serious for that.
"All three meals," said Peggy.
"We've fairly done it this time," said Nancy. "Come on.
away round to the north-west, and at eight bells, when Titty, and
But Captain Flint was up again at seven bells, and so were all the
"Three bells," he said to himself, and then, as Bill looked up from his
When Nancy struck eight bells, one two, one two, one two, one two,
"Two bells! Five o'clock. Tea!" called Nancy, almost as if she wanted
"Four bells," said John, rubbing his eyes. "I thought we were starting
The morning passed. Roger sounded eight bells for noon.
Nancy'll take over at eight bells. They'd better be getting some sleep
On the Internet at:
is offerings of several items of software, one of which is "SHIP'S BELLS"
that makes the computer announce the time on the hour and half hour be
the ringing of a bell tone.
There are several applications offered at that site that have been made
available some time ago. Operating systems have progressed to where
sometimes the older apps will not be accepted by the newer Windows, saying
that "The application is not compatible with the Operating System". As
for me personally, I still use Windows XP, and that is old enough to
be able to run easily the offerings of ATR website. The XP system is no
longer "supported" but for me, it is the one that still works, and runs
the stuff I want to run. I would have rephrased that error message to say
that "The Operating System is no longer compatible with your application."
Perhaps the growth of technology creates such questions as to "where can I
play my 78 RPM records?" Or where to play my 8-track tapes, or even my
tape cassettes or my VHS home videos (such players are becoming rather rare).
My XP computer still has the A: drive (diskette), which can let me
boot a DOS DISKETTE, where I truly feel comfortable with understanding how
to do the things I want to do. I keep several back up copies of that boot
disk, because after all, that is over 30 years old, an anachronism.
But then, at my age, perhaps I am just an anachronism of a bygone age.
Ed Kiser, Kentucky, USA [ email@example.com ]
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