A light canon. It was restored and placed on a pedestal in 1995. It had previously been in a slightly less prominent position on a sloping grassed area to one side of Manchester square.
The Chinese gingall, or canon, was seized in the brief naval action on the night of 17th June 1900 which brought about the capture of the Taku forts guarding the route to Tientsin and Beijing. This was part of the bid by Japan and the European powers to impose one-side, 'open-door' trade agreements and the spread of Christianity on the Chinese. The action did not have entirely the desired result in that it spurred the all-powerful Chinese empress dowager to take advantage of the popular, anti-foreigner Boxer movement and order that all foreigners be killed.
The gingall was presented to Bellingham by Commander (later Admiral Sir) Edward Charlton (1865-1937) whose ship, the cruiser Orlando, had taken part in the action.(1) Charlton was the eldest son of Dr Edward Charlton of Hesleyside, Bellingham. He entered the Royal Navy in 1878 and became Commander in 1897.
Attached plaque reads: GINGALL FROM N.W. FORT TAKU CHINA JUNE 17 1900 / PRESENTED TO THE TOWN OF BELLINGHAM / BY COMMANDER E. CHARLETON R.N. H.M.S. ORLANDO / (COMMANDER, LATER ADMIRAL SIR EDWARD CHARLETON KCB KCMG / RETIRED IN 1924 AND DIED IN 1937) / SANS(...) ARIER (...)
Attached plaque reads: RENOVATED BY / TED BRACHTVOGEL / 1995.
PMSA recording information