'I Strike, I Cover'

Ship's Bell News


Source: Mrs. Margaret Brown. (New Zealand)


7th October 2001. The original ship's bell from HMS. Vengeance has been located and negotiations are currently ongoing to purchase/exchange it, ready for when/if the ship is returned to the U.K., from Brazil. It is intended to restore the bell to the ship when she is finally berthed, providing a settlement can be reached in time. Parties are intending to travel from New Zealand to present the bell back to the ship.

4th December 2001. A meeting is scheduled for January 2002, when all the facts will be discussed and a decision made regarding the bell.

10th December 2001. Received five of the 'Latest HMS. Vengeance Bell Photographs', two depicting signatures and dates inside the rim of the bell, dating from January 1953 to June 1954, when HMS. Vengeance was on loan to the Royal Australian Navy (HMAS. Vengeance). The bell has also had a 'make over' by cleaning and repaint.

18th March 2002. A further meeting is scheduled for April 2002, as the Principal did not take up the issue with the Board. All the facts will be discussed and hopefully, a decision made regarding the bell then.

22nd April 2002. Agreement has been reached and the bell will be handed back in due course to the interested parties. A date and final settlement arrangements, are yet to be made.

22nd July 2002. The HMS. Vengeance Association intends to send one of it's representatives to collect the bell once it is ready to be handed over.

11th October 2002. Arrangements being made for a representative to visit New Zealand in the New Year for the handing over of the bell.

2nd January 2003. The Association withdraws it's offer of sending a representative to collect the bell, due to the costs involved. Instead, a collection of items will be sent as a collage in exchange for the bell, this is subject to terms and agreement of the receiving parties.

23rd January 2003. Preparations underway to collect and send items for the collage, consisting of an embroidered Association badge and HMS. Vengeance badge, cap tally, 10"x 8" photograph, history of the ships all bearing the name 'Vengeance' and a commissioning book of the latest HMS. Vengeance. Once all the items have been gathered, they will be sent, so the collage can be made. It is hoped that the bell will be returned in time for the April 2003 annual reunion.

20th February 2003. The school has approved the removal of the bell from it's premises and it is to be returned to the U.K. as soon as the collage is displayed in place of the bell.

15th March 2003. All the above items were despatched via Air Mail (recorded delivery) to New Zealand, where the collage will be made and presented in exchange for the bell.

27th March 2003. The package was received in New Zealand by post and arrangements now being made to remove the bell and crate it, ready for shipment to the U.K., possibly by the end of next week. Contact was made with the shipping agent, who will contact New Zealand for a pick-up address. The Association Chairman was advised of the above details. The bell will be flown from Auckland to Heathrow and then to a bell foundry where it will be cleaned and polished before presentation at the 2003 reunion.

7th April 2003. A reporter from the 'Dominion Post' attended the school to interview those connected with the bell and to publicise it's transfer back to the U.K. The story will be published at a later date.

8th April 2003.  The bell was removed from it's position in the school by Ray and Margaret Brown. An inscription was found on the back of the bell which reads, 'Presented to Mana College by Lt. Cdr. W.E.V. Lowe, Chairman Mana College Board of Governors'. The bell was then removed to Ray Brown's workshop and crated ready for shipment.  (see Bell Removal Photographs). The crate and bell, measuring 55cm x 560cm x 680cm high and weighing approx. 60kgs. is currently awaiting collection in New Zealand, bound for the U.K.

11th April 2003. The bell was collected by the couriers and is due to board a flight for the U.K. this week-end.

13th April 2003. A thank you message was sent to the Principal Mr. M. Webster at Mana College in New Zealand expressing the thanks and gratitude of the Association and it's members, for his part in returning the bell to the HMS. Vengeance Association.

17th April 2003. The bell has arrived in the U.K. and has been cleared by H.M. Customs at Heathrow. It is due to be delivered to the Bell Foundry in Nottingham on 22nd April for a clean up and polish, prior to presentation at the 2003 annual reunion on 25th and 26th April.

25th April 2003. The bell is displayed at the 2003 annual reunion. (photo)

26th April 2003. The 'Dominion Post' newspaper (New Zealand) publishes a story entitled 'College sends bell back to join its ship' by Colin Patterson. (read story)

9th May 2003. The bell is returned to the Bell Foundry in Nottingham for extensive cleaning, polishing and fitting of a new lanyard. (read story - 30th May 2003).

11th July 2003. The bell restoration project is completed and the bell is handed back to Association Officials. (read story) - (photo).


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