image of The Bell Tower, Perth

A view of The Bell Tower which, sadly, is no longer possible.

About the Swan Bells and The Bell Tower

Swan Bells was the name given to Western Australia's Millennium Project which included the tower and 18 bells hung for change-ringing. The Swan Bells were renamed The Bell Tower, Home of the Swan Bells, in 2008.

Twelve of the bells were cast originally by Abraham Rudhall's Gloucester foundry and hung in St Martin-in-the-Fields church, Trafalgar Square London in 1725. The 1st and 3rd were recast later by Abel Rudhall, and the 2nd was recast by Thomas Rudhall. Over 260 years later, these bells were almost melted down but were saved when Laith Reynolds, then President of ANZAB, organised for the bells to be gifted to Perth by the Cities of London and Westminster

The bells and their fittings were tuned and refurbished by Rudhall's successors, Whitechapel Bellfoundry in 1988 who also cast the other six to make this one of the largest rings of change-ringing bells in the world. The project was taken on by the State Government when University of WA plans fell through.

ANZAC Bell installed at The Bell Tower, Perth

The 6.5 tonne ANZAC Bourdon Bell was installed at The Bell Tower, Perth, on a rainy Sunday, 21 October 2018.

ANZAC Bell

ANZAB members can read more about the casting and installation of the bell in the latest issues of Look To!, the newsletter of the WA Branch of ANZAB, which is available via the members' section of this website. The bell was rung for the first time on 11 November 2018.

First Peal on Sixteen for ANZAB

Here's a photograph of the band that rang a peal of Little Bob 16 at the Perth Bell Tower on 5 November 2016.

Peal Band: Little Bob 16, Perth, 5 November 2016

The Band, clockwise from front right

Follow this link to the BellBoard record of the peal, which included the following achievements - First peal on sixteen for ANZAB; First peal on sixteen for all except the ringer of the 16th (Ian Harris); First West Australian ringer to ring a peal on sixteen (Josclyn Sloan); First peal on more than eight bells (Andrew Baxter).

Wow!

The Bell Tower wins WA Tourism Award

Many congratulations to Gerry Lyng and the Bell Tower team, who won the Gold Award in the Heritage and Cultural Tourism section of the WA Tourism Awards on 25 October 2014.

Bell Tower Tourism Award

Gerry Lyng, The Bell Tower Manager, with Federal Senator Linda Reynolds, daughter of Laith and a one-time ringer.

When you consider the difficulties the Bell Tower labours under at the moment, being literally in the middle of the Elizabeth Quay development building site, this is a very significant achievement for all concerned.

Richard Offen

600th Quarter rung on the tower bells at The Bell Tower, Perth, WA

The 600th quarter rung on the tower bells in The Bell Tower, Perth (aka Swan Bells) was achieved on Saturday 16th May 2009, as part of the Grandsire Caters 'program' run by local ringers Irene Mackenzie and Sally Simmonds.

The program is aimed to provide 10-bell ringing experience for those WA ringers who have mastered 8-bell ringing and are in need of an introduction to ringing on higher numbers. It consists of dedicated monthly Saturday morning practices with occasional quarter peal attempt 'slots' to reinforce/prove the skills learned.

The first quarter peal slot was on 19th January for Irene and Sally themselves to ring their first quarter on ten; the second was the 16th May quarter, which was the first inside on ten for Perth ringing stalwart, David Knewstub. Irene and Sally were also appropriately in the band for the quarter, which was also rung as a 100th birthday compliment to Fred Smeaton of Adelaide. A true 'multi-purpose quarter'.

Click here to see the band and where they rang.

Adam Beer

New Carillon for the Perth Bell Tower

The Perth Carillon - airborne!

On 8th November 2008, at 7 am, runners and cyclists out for their early-morning exercise along the beautiful Swan River witnessed a crane gently lowering into place, on the roof of the Bell Tower, a 26-bell carillon; the latest addition to the tower's already large collection of bells.

The bells that now form the Bell Tower instrument were originally the upper octaves of the 53-bell carillon on Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. This carillon was originally cast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough in 1969, but in 2002, in order to improve the volume and tonal balance of the instrument, it was decided to replace the top two octaves with new bells. Thus the original founders cast 28 new bells for the purpose, the work being completed in 2003.

The Perth Carillon

25 of the old Canberra bells were purchased to create the basis of a 26-bell instrument with a bass bell weighing 1-1-4 in B. To complete the carillon the three smallest Canberra bells were replaced by new and more powerful Taylor bells and a further one added at the top of the range, giving two chromatic octaves plus one note.

The bells have been hung on an ornamental steel "tree" which elegantly graces the roof of the Tower. Sounded by electrically operated hammers, the carillon will be played by a coin-operated, computer-controled unit, which enables visitors to choose (in return for a modest sum) from a wide selection of music and change ringing. There will also be the additional facility to play the instrument from a keyboard, enabling "live" concerts to be given.

Richard Offen

This page supplements the ANZAB Tower Directory, and records further information about the tower, its bells and ringers.

Some of this has been provided by local ringers, but most is historical and has been gathered by the ANZAB Webmaster since 2002.

Tower officers are encouraged to submit material for inclusion on this page, or suggest changes to its content.

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