Bells toll on Lawrence collection for final time
IT TOOK Ross McLeod more than 60 years to collect his 1300-strong bell collection and, with a tinge of sadness it will be packed away, never to ring again at Lawrence.
However, the bells will toll again, with the collection to be rehomed in Tweed Heads, and put back on display for all to enjoy, though Mr McLeod said he had mixed emotions about the sale.
"I fall to pieces every time I think about it," he said. "But I always hoped someone would take it in its entirety and put it back up again, and it will be."
Now 83, Mr McLeod's bell obsession began as a young stockman when he souvenired his horse's bell and this grew to a collection that has amazed thousands who have come through the Lawrence nursery display.
An urge for him and partner Sheila Moore to "retire again" and travel while they still could, meant Mr McLeod had to put his bells on the market and, after several months, Bill Sullivan from Pioneer Country, in Tweed Heads, couldn't resist.
"I heard about it through a mutual friend, and came down to see it," Mr Sullivan said.
"It blew my mind. We've got stuff - we're more into carts and buggies. We have memorabilia but nothing like this.
"I'm the amateur, he (Ross) is the professional. We'll give it a good home."
Ms Moore said it had been a busy week packing up the huge collection but admitted there'd always be at least one wall of bells "he just couldn't get rid of".
"We'll definitely call in and visit the collection too."
Ms Moore said they couldn't thank the village of Lawrence enough for how wonderful they'd been in the eight years they'd had the display.
"We've had such a good response from the locals as well as tourists," she said. "It's a wonderful village, a lot of give and take and that's what makes it great."