Duns Town Hall bell tolls again

Duns Town Hall Bell, which has been silent for decades, rang out again on Armistice Day this year.
Duns Town Hall Bell, which has been silent for decades, rang out again on Armistice Day this year.

The bell from the former Duns Town Hall clock tower has been given a new home and it rang out on Armistice day for the first time in years.

Duns Town Hall stood in a prominent position in the Market Square when opened in 1820 but subsequently fell into disrepair and in 1966 it was demolished.

The building included a clock tower, although a bell was not installed until 1858. The bell, which chimed every 15 minutes, was cast at the foundry of G Mears in London, the same company which cast Big Ben in the same year, and which also cast the Liberty Bell.

Following demolition of the town hall the bell was held privately for a number of years before being donated to Dunse History Society in 1999.

Where to house it presented a problem but after lying in the garage of one of the society members for several years it found a home, first in the parish church vestry and subsequently just outside the main entrance way.

On Armistice Day the bell rang out again after being mounted on a metal frame allowing making it usable. Thanks go to all those who helped, including John Thorburn & Sons and Steven Lackenby Ltd, Robbie Mitchell and members of Dunse History Society who helped dig out the foundations.

Duns War Memorial lists 85 local men killed in the war and at the Armistice service their names were read out and the bell run for each one by a member of the history society, many choosing to ring in memory of a particular soldier.