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Getting ‘a bang’ out of historic cannon

The newly acquired cannon at the National Museum

Four historic cannon dating back to 1834 have been shipped to Bermuda from the UK and installed at the entrance to the National Museum.

The 32-pounder matching guns and their original cast-iron carriages had previously been part of a private collection in England.

A generous donor helped pay for the four cannon to be brought to the Island in two shipping containers through the US.

They arrived at Hamilton Docks a few weeks ago and were gently lowered into position on Wednesday.

“It is hoped that all of the visitors to the Dockyard will get a bang out of these guns for their photographic records of their visit to Bermuda,” said Edward Harris, museum director.

“Bermuda had many carriages like those in the mid-19th century, but unlike some places in the West Indies where they survive, all of those in Bermuda have been lost.”

Dr Harris told The Royal Gazette that one of the museum’s long-term projects was to rearm the ramparts of Dockyard.

He added: “To signal that intention and to attract visitors, the newly acquired cannon, all matching 32-pounders, have been placed next to the moat at the entrance to the museum.

“Within minutes of putting the cannon in place on a bed of Bermuda stone gravel, children and grown-ups were swarming over them, as cannon are always a favourite for taking pictures with friends and family.”

The cannon were manufactured in 1834 by Walker & Company, an English gunmaker of the nineteenth century.

They were more likely made for the commercial trade, rather than for the British armed forces, as there is no royal cypher embossed on the top of the barrels.

Dr Harris said: “The guns were purchased earlier this year from a private collection that was being sold off in Britain: the museum was fortunate in being able to acquire the guns with the help of a donor.

“BISL, a Bermuda shipping company, and its English associates, ICL, provided assistance with the shipping of two containers to the US and Bermuda, for which the museum is very grateful.”