The story of two bells


The first bell manufactured in the colony was cast for St Alban’s Church on 18 March 1889, by Tomlinson’s Brothers Foundry in Perth.

The bell weighed 56 pounds and was donated to the church by Mr Hutchinson, who also played the harmonium, providing the music for the continuing open air services. Apparently when the molten metal was ready to be poured into the mould,
Tomlinson suggested, ‘onlookers throw in their silver offerings.’ Coins to the value of about ten shillings were added to the mould and the bell was cast.

In 1902 when the Queen Memorial Tower with its eight bells was added to the cathedral, a bell, believed to be one of the oldest in Australia, was offered to St Alban’s Church. This bell was cast by Thomas Mears in London in 1806 and installed in the London docks area in that year. The people in the Docks area complained about the noise when it was installed, and in 1842 the bell was
purchased by Henry Manning for the newly built St George’s Church. This free–standing church bell is thought to be one of the oldest in the Commonwealth.

The Sixth Annual General Report dated 30 April 1903, records that ‘St George’s vestry asked the Bishop to give the bell which hung for so many years in the Cathedral tower to any parish he thought fit. He offered the bell to St. Alban’s Church as the first parish cut off from the Cathedral parish on the condition the old St Alban’s Church bell be handed on to Bayswater.’