Re: Bells of the Swiss Centre, Leicester Square

Dickon Love dickon at
Thu Oct 20 13:43:38 BST 2011

I sent yesterday (although I am not sure it came through):
"Following a tip off, I discovered that the bells of the Swiss Centre, Leicester Square, were being rehung today.  The old Swiss Centre was redeveloped a few years ago and the chime was dismantled.  The bells are now forming their own feature in front of where they used to be, in their own tower, which features little Swiss figures, etc.  They are being hung by Smiths of Derby, having been cast by Ruetschi A Arau Switzerland, and have "1985" cast upon them, although they weren't cast then!  They are brand new as it appears that the old bells were "lost" when the centre was redeveloped!"

Turns out I was fed misinformation.  They are the original bells, from Aarau.  I spoke to the head man at Smith of Derby who confirmed that the bells merely went back to Switzerland for refurbishment.  I got permission to climb the scaffolding at lunchtime and have photographed the inscriptions.  Once finished (in a fortnight) this is going to be an impressive new addition to Leicester Square.  It will be opened at the end of November, probably with the President of Switzerland in attendance ('probably' because while it is known that he will be in the country, it is not known for sure whether he will attend).  For the occasion they will be plugging in a keyboard to a port at the base of the tower and inviting a carilloneur to have a jingle.

I'll update Lovesguide Westminster ( in due course.



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