The School BELL


All Cottonians remember well the school’s BELL that stood on the First Flat – and the various different tones and ringing patterns that were struck to denote the TIME, BREAK, LUNCH, END OF SCHOOL DAY, PREP TIME, etc ….

Recently, we had an email from OC Richard D’Abreu [Curzon 1936-46]:

My thanks to Bishop Cotton School for forwarding me the Mitre School Paper. I look forward to this newspaper arriving at my home in Bunbury Western Australia from time to time. I am also fascinated by all the stamps which have the picture of the school printed on them.
I find the Mitre interesting to read. It keeps me up with all the events that the school has during the year. So much change to the days of the 1930ies and 40ies which was my era. What got my attention, in Volume 1 March – May 2011 issue,  in the column “In and around BCS” written by  the School Captain Uday Punta, was the mention of the demise of the school bell, and that it would be sadly missed. I could remember, in the 1940ies at the end of term in December, a few vandals, as a school prank, would take the big brass bell down and roll it down the khud. It was always found by the workmen at the school and put back to it’s rightful place in its housing on the First Playground. I cannot comprehend that the old bell is no more. Was it lost or just replaced by a more updated system?
Best wishes to all Cottonians and Old Cottonians…
Dick D’Abreu.

The HM’s response:

I write to inform you that the old order changeth to herald in the new as far as the School bell is concerned. Mr. G.P.S. Sahi and his batch-mates also donated a lovely brass bell along with the bust of the dear Founder in 2009 and it is this bell that is in use at present, having replaced the old one that time and the elements of the weather had put paid to.
You will be glad to know that a Museum has been in place in School since 2009. The Estate Department has been instructed to place the Old School Bell in a place of prominence therein.
With good wishes.
Yours faithfully,
R.C. Robinson
The Headmaster

Dick D’Abreu responds:

Thanks for updating me on the fate of the old school bell which I remembered so well. Progress is a good thing and the replacement new bell may last as long as the old faithful… It was good to read the Head Master’s comments. I had fond memories of it after 9 years as a Cottonian. Many a time I was privileged to be given the honour of ringing it on a Sunday while the boys and staff filled into the chapel..So pleased it is now in the school museum…