Small piece of history returned as bell from 1930s makes its way back to Boroughmuir High School

The bell was discovered by CALA Homes (East) as they restored the school's former home in Viewforth

Friday, 17th January 2020, 5:00 pm
The bell alongside S6 Pupils Gregor Holmyard, Isabella Della Sala, Head Teacher David Dempster, CALA Project Manager Craig Donaldson, S6 Pupils Imogen Moran and Greg Manson

Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh has been presented with their original school bell from the 1930s which was discovered during the property restoration of the school's previous home in Viewforth.

The construction team at CALA Homes (East) facilitating the restoration rescued the artefact and has now gifted it to the new school.

A Grade B listed building, the former Boroughmuir High School was occupied from 1913 and was one of the first in Edinburgh to use steel frame architecture.

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The recovered bell was produced in 1938, as is inscribed around the body, by specialist bell casters and hangers in Glasgow and Edinburgh, John Bryden & Sons.

Mr Dempster said: “We’re delighted that CALA has recognised and restored this significant part of our school’s long history. The bell will remain with us as a reminder to all of our staff and pupils of the past.”

Craig Donaldson, CALA’s Project Manager at Boroughmuir, helped ensure the safe delivery of the historic bell to the new school.

He said: “As with every restoration project that we undertake, at Boroughmuir we are working to breathe new life in what is an important building for the city.

“Externally the building will remain largely untouched. We are sensitively restoring all 430 windows, as well as repointing and painting where required to bring it back to its best.

“Inside, we’re carefully renovating the former school into beautiful modern apartments, with nods back to history throughout.

“We were delighted to get to a point where we could safely retrieve the bell. It’s a privilege to be able to give something back to the school that spent so many years on this site and it will hopefully give the staff and students a small reminder of their heritage every day.”

CALA's work began at Boroughmuir in March 2019 and the final development will comprise 87 one, two, three and four-bedroom contemporary apartments.

Last year Cala Homes (East) hailed a report that its work to redevelop a former school in Edinburgh will deliver an economic boost of more than £45 million to the local area.