Swartland, Darling, Dutch Reformed Church
C. & G. Mears (Firm)
Format Extent11 colour photographs
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The Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk in Darling is a sheet-white building with an impressive appearance. The current church replaces a former building that was completely destroyed by fire in 1955. This church has two bells, one in a horseshoe construction outside, the other in the tower. The outside bell hangs in a decorative white tower. The bell itself has been painted with a silver paint that is blotting off, giving the bell a leper-looking appearance. Like so many other bells in the Western Cape, the decorations on the bell consist of two pairs of moulding rings just below the shoulder, and two more above the sound bow. One would expect that the bell is rather old as it used to be functioning for the first church. However, there is no sign of a founding date, let alone of a founder. The bell within the tower reveals more. Also here are two pairs of moulding wires below the shoulder. We further find three wires above the sound bow and another two on the nose of the bell. All other inscriptions are on one side of the bell. Just above the sound bow is the emblem of the foundry in between the founding year. We read 19 emblem 57. We recognize the emblem as that of the Mears foundry: Below the boundary of the circle stands a king’s crown with underneath three bells, 1 and 2. Left of the top bell stands AA above H and one the right WA above H. In between the two bells on the bottom line stands the letters DH. The letters are abbreviations for the three members of the Hughes family that collaborated in the foundry over the period 1950 to 1964. AA refers to Albert A., WA to William A. and D to Douglas. We found a second reference to the foundry on the yoke of the bell. On the yoke we also get information of the local provider of the bell that is linked to the clock. W W KEAY & SONS CAPE TOWN 1958. On the bell are also remains of paint, probably intended for the shipping. It is written over four lines M & S / CAPE TOWN / No/ GROSS WT 12-1-26.
- Swartland