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Jessica Bearham of Guildford has her signature on the curved copper Signature Ring sculpture at the Bell Tower.

Swan River and bells appeal to Jessica

JESSICA Bearham went to La Salle College, which was one of the schools invited to take part in the Sign in project for the Bell Tower.

This means her signature is now included in the Signature Ring sculpture located in Barrack Square.

Ms Bearham who lives in Guildford now works at the Bell Tower.

She has a love of history and is keen to share the history of Perth’s connection to the bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields, which were rung to signal Captain James Cook’s return to England after his Voyage of Discovery in 1771.

“Guildford is full of history – there are churches around us, St Mathews is a very popular one and the Guildford Grammar Chapel,’’ she said.

The Swan River has played an important part in her life, including working at the Bell Tower, which is beside the river.

“The Swan River is right by my house [in Guildford] and I grew up with lots of river walks and picnics by the river.’’

She said this month marks her second anniversary working at the Bell Tower.

“I finished studying a diploma in events in 2015 and started at the Bell Tower as a casual visitor attendant and supervisor.

“Then I was promoted to full time as operations and events coordinator in November 2016.’’

The river was also important to Captain James Stirling who in 1827 explored the land around Guildford and decided to establish Guildford as it was a rural area he loved that connected the Swan River with Perth and Fremantle.

Captain Stirling established the Swan River Colony and he became the first governor and of Western Australia.

The online Australian Dictionary of Biography said Sir James Stirling (1791-1865) expected his guests to dress formally for dinner, even if meals were taken under canvas in oppressive summer heat, or at his country seat of Woodbridge, near the little town of Guildford.

“The musical evenings and the outdoor recreations of hunting and picnicking were designed to make any new settler from the English counties feel almost at home,’’ the biography said.

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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