South West Wales

Church bells ring in Mumbles for rescued Chilean miners

Bells have been ringing at a Welsh church with close ties to Chile to mark the rescue of the 33 trapped miners.

All Saints in Mumbles near Swansea was home to the Bells of Santiago for 100 years until they were returned to South America earlier this year.

In return, the Chilean government sent a national flag which was hoisted in the village for the first time.

Keith Evans, vicar of All Saints, said the church wanted to share in the joy of the successful rescue.

The Bells of Santiago once hung in the Church of Campania de Juses, which burned down in 1863 killing more than 2,000 people.

After the disaster the three copper bells were shipped to Swansea, then one of the most important smelting centres in the world.

But instead of being melted down they were donated to All Saints where they remained until earlier this year, when it was agreed to return them to Chile.

The bells were delivered to Santiago only last month by the Royal Navy.

Mr Evans added: "We are just sharing the joy of the successful rescue of the 33 Chilean miners.

"There's a close link between the church and the copper community in Chile - all of us wished to share in their joy."

Meanwhile, a song called Seren Esperanza (Esperanza's Star) by the pupils of Ysgol Capel Garmon in Conwy was broadcasted on Radio Maray, Chile's national radio station and also on the BBC World Service.

The song was composed under the guidance of Gai Toms and Myrddin ap Dafydd who worked on a cultural initiative at the school for the Snowdonia National Park Authority.

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