Victory bell given to museum

South ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie hands over a victory bell to Robert Chandler, Scotland and Northern Ireland area chairman of the Royal Air Forces Association.
South ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie hands over a victory bell to Robert Chandler, Scotland and Northern Ireland area chairman of the Royal Air Forces Association.

A World War 2 victory bell unearthed in South Ayrshire Council’s County Buildings has been handed over to the Royal Air Forces Association to be displayed in a museum.

Provost Helen Moonie officially handed over the bell, which shows the heads of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, to the Scotland and Northern Ireland area chairman of the Royal Air Forces Association, Robert Chandler.

Victory bells were made by Buckinghamshire Die-Casting Co from aluminium alloy from German aircraft destroyed during World War 2 and were sold, initially for around £1, to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund after the war.

The charity originally provided financial aid to injured and incapacitated airmen and their families. Today, it provides help for serving and former members of the RAF and their families, and maintains the RAF Memorial, which was completed in 1923 to remember the RAF men who lost their lives during World War I.

Few of the the bell have survived and there were many different designs made - particularly when it comes to the handles - and rather than ring they make a muted clatter.

German aircraft that crashed over the UK were salvaged, stripped of usable parts and if possible their aluminium parts recycled to fly again as new aircraft. The remnants were smelted into ingots and Conrad Parlanti, a member of a family with a long tradition of foundry casting, came up with the idea of using the ingots to create the bells to raise money for RAF families.