Laurentic Bell to return to Derry

One of the most significant artefacts in local maritime history, the Laurentic Bell, is to make a return to Derry after being purchased by the Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The Bell, which was rung by crew as the former White Star liner sank in the Swilly over a century ago, will go on display at the Guildhall before it finds a permanent home in the planned Maritime Museum.

It is on display until the 24th of January at Derry’s Guildhall. Curator with Derry City and Strabane District Council museums and visitors services Roisin Doherty said:
“We are delighted to display the bell particularly in the Guildhall as this is where the survivors of the wreck were treated to a meal by the Mayor of the City in 1917.”

Effects on the bell still visible today include dents on its rim, which were created by a sailor who was ordered to beat the bell to sound the alarm to abandon ship.

The display will also include letters, postcards and photographs of those who were lost and who survived.

The bell is just one of two from the ship, with the other being permanently located in the belfry of the Church of Ireland at portsalon.

Following the display, the bell it is to go to it permanent home at the maritime museum which will open in 2020 at Ebrington Square.