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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Bishop receives Royal swan gift
Mrs Arblaster tries to get the swans to ring the bell
The palace gatekeepers are teaching the swans the bell trick
The Queen has sent a gift of a family of swans to the Bishop of Bath and Wells to mark the 800th anniversary of his Medieval moated palace.

Swans have inhabited the moat since the 19th Century when they were trained to ring a bell for food.

The last palace swan recently retired and was transferred to a sanctuary after her mate died.

Palace gatekeepers Paul and Carol Arblaster now have the job of teaching the new birds the old bell trick.

The swans' predecessors would pull a chain attached, below a window, to a small bell for a food reward.

But Mr Arblaster said: "We had no one ahead of us here as a mentor to show us how to take over the job.

"And the lady who originally taught the swans 150 years ago is not around, so we'll just have to try a few tricks that have been suggested."

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Price was just pleased to have the new swans in the moat.

"Most of the swans in this country belong to Her Majesty and she's given us four lovely swans to celebrate our 800th anniversary," he said.


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