SS Balfron

On the 4th July 1941 when on passage from Southend-on-Sea to Grangemouth with a cargo of sand, the SS Balfron foundered and was lost off Hyburn Wyke, north of Scarborough. She was a British Steam Coaster of 362 tons built in 1920 by Scotts, of Bowling, for The South Shield Steamship Co Ltd, managed by Walker & Bain, Grangemouth.

The Balfron was bombed and sunk when 3 miles off Ravenscar, after being attacked by German aircraft. Four of her crew, including her Master, Angus Leitch, went missing, presumed killed, and are remembered at Tower Hill Memorial (panel below).


This un-named bell was found close by the wreck.

The Church Bells

Missing church bell, which used to hang from the tree at the church gates.
This photograph was taken in about 1947.

Not perhaps of immediate interest to most, but my interest was aroused when I read that one Balfron church bell was apparently cast in 1791, and the other in 1888.

The earlier (small) bell was cast by “John Wilfone & Co” of 73 Trongate, Glasgow.  The 43 inch bell was supplied by the Gorbals Brass and Bell Foundry in 1888. It was presented by Rev Alexander Slessor, who was minister here 1878-1904, and inscribed ‘Voco, Venite in Domini Temphum’.

Ranald Clouston’s “Church Bells of Stirling and Kinross” records that in the 1940s a 17 and 3/8th inches bell was preserved in the church. It was inscribed:

Gifted by Robert Dunmore of Ballindalloch 1791. (See image above)

The book notes that there was, before the church was rebuilt in 1832, a bell tree at the churchyard gate.

The bell is probably the work of John Wilson & Co of 73 Trongate, Glasgow. The manufacturers initials were inscribed inside the bell, which is, apparently a rarity.

So, where is this bell?

Any campanologists out there who might know something about our church bells?

 

Balfron Church bell

I have received an enquiry about Balfron’s church bells.

Not perhaps of immediate interest to most, but my interest was aroused when I read that one was apparently cast in 1791, and the other in 1888.

The earlier (small) bell was cast by “John Wilfone & Co” of 73 Trongate, Glasgow.  The 43 inch bell was supplied by the Gorbals Brass and Bell Foundry in 1888. It was presented by Rev Alexander Slessor, who was minister here 1878-1904, and inscribed ‘Voco, Venite in Domini Temphum’.

I am told that, at one time, an upturned bell was used as a baptism font.

Any campanologists out there who might know something about our church bells?

A old photograph of the Clachan Oak describes it as the ‘bell tree’, but another indicates the tree was just inside the gates.