Whitechapel Bell Foundry (72)

While I’m back on the subject of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, I listened to a very good talk last week about how immensely important the Bell Foundry was to the casting of Big Ben. I had not known that the first version of the bell was cast not in London, but in Stockton-on-Tees, by a foundry called John Warner & Sons, But while their bell was being tested in New Palace Yard, it cracked beyond repair and so was melted down. So, a second version of the Great Bell was cast in Whitechapel, instead, taken on a trolley to Westminster, surrounded by cheering crowds, and then hauled up to the top of its tower in the Palace of Westminster, whereupon it too cracked, but luckily not irreparably. So, its particular sonorousness, which rings out everyday on the BBC News is a product of the craft skills of Whitechapel

Big Ben will ring out again later this year. I hope and pray that it will celebrate the restoration of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a British-run working Foundry, not as an American-owned luxury boutique hotel.

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