Profile photo of tweva

Agreed Mr. Red. This is a subject that takes some investigating. I am surrounded by a ring of mountains/foothills. I have spent time to investigate different avenues, but out here because of all the farms – there is a lot of interference/traffic/use. I can easily hear if I wish what is going on more than a few places around me – and people are not always careful about what they say/talk about.

An old farmer I met a few months ago told me that around here the people used to communicate using their old school/dinner bells because it was simple and could be heard from quite a distance. The farms changed the length of the ‘clapper’ I guess it is called to be distinctive. Basically they had a code they all had written down by the bell for the basics. It started because of fire concerns and grew from there. The first bell ring told them direction N, S, E, W (if you knew the sound of the bell you also knew who was sending the message) where the trouble was. The second bell ring told you what the trouble was: fire, accident, medical, or animal related. The third bell ring alerted to the level of the trouble/how much help needed.I wish I had recorded it. It was pretty simple yet tricky. The also used color cloths tied on things to pass information to each other, usually from some high point of barn but also at gates/along roads such as blue was river flooded ahead, and of course red on gate was danger – watch for the bull in the field!

I too will be interested to hear others suggestions – especially simple ones I can handle.