Kay and I spent last Christmas with Dad and sister in Singapore. I found time to investigate the bells of St Andrews Cathedral (the main cathedral for the Anglican Diocese of Singapore) now that I'm well and truly into campanology.
The original church built in 1835 had a bell donated by Mrs Maria Revere Balestier, wife of Joseph Balestier, the first American consul to Singapore and daughter of the anti-British patriot Paul Revere (the legendary hero who rode through towns to warn of British troops movements). The church was struck several times by lightning and was considered unsafe and was replaced by the present structure in 1861 that also incorporated the “Revere Bell”.
The “Revere Bell” remained until 1889 when it was replaced by a peal of eight bells cast by Taylors of Loughborough. Unfortunately after installation, “it was found that the foundation of the tower would not stand the strain of ringing and the bells were then permanently fixed, their clappers tied, and they were struck with hammers instead, so they still chimed.” The old Revere Bell ended up in the National Museum.
|Photo taken by Beo Lan (July 2015)|
In a recent visit (just a couple of months ago) I called in at St Andrews again and asked for permission to visit the bells, "just to have a look" as I have done in many places, including the Bath Cathedral in England. Very disappointingly, all I got in answer was a "No". No reasons given, just No.
There is an interesting virtual tour of the bells at http://www.singaporevr.com/