Mystery over 'new plaque' on town centre lifeboat bell
By Prue_Reid | Thursday, February 07, 2013, 16:51
A BELL that used to hang in Battery Point lighthouse has gone on display in the town - but it seems as if some people have their own idea about what the plaque which goes with it should say.
A ceremony, attended by officials from Bristol Port Company, town councillors and local residents, was held on Wednesday to officially unveil the bell which is now in pride of place at Wyndham Way.
The plaque, which details how the bell was installed by the town council in the Queen's jubilee, was covered with the Portishead Town Council flag.
The flag was removed as part of the unveiling ceremony to show the stainless steel plaque underneath.
However just hours after the unveiling a new sign had been placed over the plaque, we believe paying tribute to Carols Thomas and Annette Hennessy who brought the bell back to Portishead.
Portishead People do not know exactly what the sign said, as it was removed by representatives of the town council before it could be viewed.
The bell, which weighs two tonnes, used to hang in the Battery Point Lighthouse and automatically sound to warn sailors travelling along the Bristol Channel of treacherous weather conditions.
It was put in the lighthouse when it was built in 1931 but removed 12 years ago because of concerns surrounding the structural strength of the lighthouse.
The town council paid £1 for the bell after local residents Mrs Hennessy and Mrs Thomas tracked it down to a dusty warehouse at Portbury Docks.
The project has taken nearly two years to come to fruition and cost the council £18,000.
The ceremony was attended by Bristol Port Company Chief Executive, Simon Bird, director Martin Downey, Roger Henley and director of communications Sue Turner and project architect, Paul Brookes.
Also attending was Mrs Hennessy and Mrs Thomas, town councillors including vice chairman Pete Burden and town centre councillor Reyna Knight and local residents.