Bermondsey school rings the changes as bell returned after more than 80 years away

Kit Heren (24 March, 2022)

The bell was returned to Galleywall Primary School inscribed with words by the author Arthur Conan Doyle: “Beacons of the future! Capsules with hundreds of bright little seeds in each, out of which will spring the wiser, better England of the future."

53526Galleywall Primary pupils with their bell

Students at a Bermondsey school have rung a bell that was returned to the premises after a gap of more than eighty years.

The bell, which is thought to have been removed in the war, was recast and returned to Galleywall Primary School on Galleywall Road earlier in March. It was inscribed with words by the author Arthur Conan Doyle: “Beacons of the future! Capsules with hundreds of bright little seeds in each, out of which will spring the wiser, better England of the future.”

Year 4 pupil Miles Nzei was the first to ring the bell, which was recast by a Loughborough foundry and paid for by Heritage of London trust and property developers Delancey. The bell now sits in the bell tower on the roof of the school’s Victorian building.

Miles Nzei ringing the bell with Sheila Cohring the co-founder of the new school

Miles said: “When I was under 5 I didn’t know what a bell was and I have never heard a bell or seen one before and it’s amazing, I really enjoyed the celebration and the ringing of our bell, we use to make little bells, but never had a bell before!”

The arrival of the new bell was accompanied by some teaching of the history of the local area and the traditions of bells. Bell-making has disappeared from London, with the capital’s last foundry in Whitechapel closing last year after 450 years.

The bell will now be rung at the start of each day, as well as for special events.

Ms Sarah Parbhu, headteacher of Galleywall School, said: “We are so pleased to finally have a bell back in its rightful place, at the very top of our school! It has been a brilliant opportunity to look back at the history of Galleywall with our children and look to its future as we start new traditions!”

 

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