The Bells are Ringing…

Bell, 1923

This bell is from the Wingham Memorial Town Hall, a State Heritage listing building. The Wingham Memorial Town Hall is an important building in this Manning Valley town and has strong ties to the community especially as a war memorial. The Hall has been in constant use for almost 100 years as a memorial site, council chamber, meeting room, entertainment venue, picture theatre, wedding reception venue and meeting place for numerous social and community groups.

The alloy bell was made by Sydney Company, Danks and Sons Pty Ltd in 1923. The bell and a clock mechanism were installed in the Town Hall tower in late 1923. They were paid for by the local women of the Upper Manning who set about raising 225 pounds through a series of events including balls, concerts, card socials, coin evenings and street stalls. This was their significant tribute to the brave servicemen from the Great War.

Bell ringing has always been a significant symbol in war and celebration. The sound of the bell throughout the town each hour would have been a constant reminder of the lasting impact of the Great War on the residents of the Upper Manning.

The official opening of the Wingham Memorial Town Hall was in April 1924 and four women played an important role at the opening. Mrs Ritchie (who lost a son in the war) opened the building while Mrs Thiele (who lost her husband) and Mrs Moore (who lost her son) unveiled the honour rolls. Miss Mc Donald (one of the fundraising committee) started the clock. This was fitting recognition for the women of the Upper Valley and their patriotic work and personal sacrifices during the War.

In 1967 the bell and clock mechanism were replaced by the Wingham Council with an electric clock that needed less maintenance. They were stored in a storeroom at the Hall with little thought or regard for the heritage of the clock and how and why it was obtained. Taree Greater City Council later donated them to the Wingham Museum where they are displayed.


How much did the new Bell for Wingham Hall cost in 1923?

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