Whitechapel Bell Foundry (30)

Jeremy Dixon kindly alerted me to this article, which appears in today’s Daily Mail. It demonstrates the extent to which the public mood is now wholly in favour of retaining the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a foundry and hostile to Historic England encouraging its sale to a venture capitalist as a hotel. Let’s hope the […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (29)

The decision of Robert Jenrick to call in planning permission for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry will, I assume, place Historic England in an odd and potentially indefensible position of being required to publicly account for why they have consistently supported the redevelopment and effective destruction of such a historically important and valuable site. After a […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (28)

I have only just heard that Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has decided to call in the application to turn the Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a hotel for review and to hold a local inquiry. This is wonderful news for all those who have campaigned against the scheme […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (27)

I was interested to read the views of Tim Parker, the chairman of the National Trust, on the occasion of its 125th. anniversary, because he makes clear that the Trust is now at least as interested in industrial history as in its legacy of great country houses. As he indicates, attitudes to the past have […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (26)

I have been reading the minutes of the London Advisory Committee, the sub-committee of Historic England which has dealt with the decision to revise its listing and support the Raycliff scheme for the redevelopment of the Foundry as a hotel. They have been provided to me through what was construed as a freedom-of-information request. They […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (25)

Even in Anglesey I fret, as the year comes to an end, on the fate of the Bell Foundry. I have been helped by Charles O’Brien, the chairman of the London Advisory Committee (and, by an odd coincidence, the author of the entry on the Bell Foundry in the revised edition of Pevsner’s London East) […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (24)

Anna Aslanyan, a young writer and translator, has written a melancholy account of the seeming inevitability of the loss of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry before the forces of insensitive global development, smashing up the existing use without testing or checking whether it is in some form still viable, as is legally required, and converting it […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (23)

James Pickford has written a very fair-minded and thoughtful end-of-year account of the current state-of-play on the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. He is, of course, correct that the developers have the benefit of the support of the Hughes family, who previously owned the Bell Foundry through four generations, and have, understandably, taken the view that if […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (22)

Looking at David Levenson’s very beautiful documentary photographs of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry this morning, taken (amazingly) on his iPhone, I suddenly had an idea. This picture in particular is of the rear section, which Raycliff are planning to demolish, as ‘of no historical or aesthetic interest’:- Yet, I am increasingly of the view that […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (21)

Of the many photographs taken the day before yesterday by Andrew Baker, the semi-official photographer, of Rory Stewart’s visit to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, I like this one the best, because it expresses his empathetic understanding of the potential fate of the Bell Foundry, now stripped out and in deep danger of being turned into […]

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