Bengts Bell, Sarajevo needs a home - Any ideas fellas?

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Gundulph, Jun 11, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. To quote from an earlier thread:

    Gundulph and Cdn Spr
    Just a minor pedantic point - it's proper name is BENGT's bell, named after Bengt Olsen but also inscribed with the names of all those killed (up to Aug 2000) whilst demining in BiH - you'll know he was killed just before he was due to return to Sweden (I believe on promotion and was also about to get married there). Really tragic tale. I was working in MAC Mostar at the time and was asked to assist in the investigation - I felt I was a bit too close to him really and a Dutch chap in MAC SARA J took over. I was lucky enough to ring the bell (and have a few scoops, natch) in Harp 3 on 17 Aug 04, the anniversary of the accident (along with P**l S****ns, then of ELS).
    Not sure where the bell should go - but it shouldn't leave Bosnia. The airport perhaps? The French have a memorial there too.
    Cdn Spr - PM me, sure we have met, especially if you were in Bihac - got a feeling you put me up a couple of times when I was "sniffing" round the MAC there.....?

    For all who have worked in Sarajevo in the past and have frequented the old Harp Bars (any one of the 3 variants 8) ) and know of Bengt's Bell could you place your ideas here as to the best location for the Bell to remain in? it's currently still with the D*** of Harp Bar fame but he would like to find a proper home for it as it is presently in one of his cupboards at his pad in Sarajevo.

    Any ideas would be welcomed...
  2. I would agree with staaken, maybe at the airport? one other location would be the HQ of UNMAS, now I know most people don't have the highest regard for the UN but it's just an idea. I think it's located in New York.

    Those are the only two places I can think of.

    Is there no Harp left then? I didn't even know there was a third!!!!
  3. Or even scraping the very lowest regard from them, can you believe there are still mincing so called UN OBSERVERS in their neck to toe white gaylord uniforms complete with white jumper, shirt, trousers, shoes and socks and even laces! probably they have to wear issued grossen underhosen also!!! 8)

    I wouldn't trust it in the BHMAC as so many people have chips on shoulders and competing against each other, if one didn't like the idea it would go missing, if the Mac Bar had remained it could have gone in there but that fizzled out when Peka went off to Belgrade many moons ago. I meet up with D*** (formerly known as Harp Owner/Barman/Manager/Chef/Entertainer) each Friday for an ale... he is steering towards other ventures so no Harp 4 currently in the pipeline...

    Yes it all started between the Zoo and the Kosevo Olympic Stadium then moved as you know to the Dobrinja area opposite the blue hatted people and Harp 3 moved all of 2.5 Metres around the corner on the opposite side of the Bar wall...
  4. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    When did the MAC bar shut? Many a happy Happy "Hour" (or was it night and day) in there. I imagine Peka must have made a tidy sum over the years,
  5. It shut a few years ago Chimera basically when almost all the Internationals were gone and the whole shebang was handed over to National Staff, Peka fell out with them, was in Belgrade for a while and now runs a small bar close to the Unis Towers behind the Holiday Inn. I think I remember the local staff closing the Bar due to a vehicle radio antenna going MIA after a night of naked throw yourself from the Bar roof into the deep snow and see who could make the deepest hole - Event, they had right bees in their bonnets over that one! I avoided the MAC at all costs when it was starting to become blatantly obvious they wanted rid of us 'Internationals' we were requesting up to 15 or more Red Files per week, they were starting to take 3 or more weeks to provide the Red File! all it comprises of is information relevant to that area and 9 times out of 10 was garbage! we ended up having to cancel many of our clearance projects funded by USAID because of these people and their attitudes, considering the size of some of these clearance tasks (multi million dollars!) it was pathetic! I even suggested they have one person who takes the folder around all the depts and make it their job to get the signatures, the info from each person can be found in minutes so they were taking the urine and handing each dept the one folder day by day so I had enough and started sending down a local driver to deal with them... When W*ll** L*******e was there these things didn't happen...

    But the Bar was sadly missed I agree...
  6. Almost correct, the bell is in my apartment in the display case. Any input, as already stated, on it's eventual last home would be appreciated from any other Bods who knew Bengt or worked here and know of the Bells history and tradition. I have Apsolutely no problem keeping it, in fact it's quite an honour, but I believe it should have a more open public display which might help people understand more.
    The present deathtoll here in Bosnia from demining operations now stands at 47 since 1996 to Wed last when another deminer was killed

  7. Are you the Famous Delta Alpha of 5 Inf Bn ( the fighting Fifth)
  8. That was sad news you gave us reference the latest deminer at Vogosca over the ale or few yesterday! another name to be added to the Bell and added reason to find it a more 'public' place of rest, possibly where families and friends of the lads who have been killed can view it, its a shame there is no museum in Sarajevo to the whole Mine Action scene, there certainly could be... even a small one like the one at the end of the tunnel that was used below the airport during the War... The Sarajevo Tunnel Museum
  9. Corrrrrrrect to Hedgie and I agree with Gundulph. One or a few, and the rest, painting all day Sat, didn't know they made "Bloodshot" white paint.
    Enjoy "the walk".
  10. Hi Fellas
    Good to hear (Alpha) that the Bell is still in safe hands.
    The idea of New York/UNMAS having it would probably be my last choice - they'd no doubt initiate a 300,000 USD feasability study on which cabinet to put it in.....ten years later.
    My first choice, on reflection, is my first suggestion - the Airport. It's where Bengt was repatriated from and would be a useful reminder to all those visiting Bosnia of the sacrifices made by deminers down the years.
    But in the meantime, let it rest with Alpha.
    Ref the MAC bar, it stumbled on after that snowdrift diving party but the writing was on the wall - it didn't stop other (ahem) misbehavin' by us Ints. The odd thing was that Nat MAC staff never used the bloody thing after hours - they'd be out of TITO like rats up a drainpipe come knock off time.
    Last thing (maybe Gundulph can shine some light) - I presented the MAC bar with a German WW2 helmet just before I legged it in '00 - found this during the first 5 minutes of a 5% check of a PROVITA "cleared" site (ha ha ha ha ha starts crying etc) south of Mostar - it disappeared soon after due to the close connection between the MAC Director Uncle Filipovic and the head of PROVITA (nephew Kolender). I understand Kolender was sacked soon be replaced by......Uncle Filipovic!
    Sorry long boring story, but if anyone knows the whereabouts of the helmet, I'd appreciate it.

  11. The UNMAS idea was a long shot, and in retrospect, I withdraw that suggestion, and put my vote to say the arrivals lobby at the airport, as Staaken said, to remind others of the sacrifices made since 1995 (and earlier).
  12. Whilst still in support of the airport arrivals hall, may I also suggest that if it's not possible to keep the bell in sarajevo, then perhaps SWEDEC may help. My step-dad mentioned this to me as they have a training centre (somewhere in sweden I presume) but also have a museum/memorial spot. in fact here is the link:

    like I said, just a backup spot if the bell can't stay in bosnia (where it rightly belongs)