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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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (20)

A brief public appearance by Rory Stewart in front of the Bell Foundry:- As expected, he completely understood the importance of the Bell Foundry in terms of retaining traditional craft skills, whilst simultaneously allowing them to develop in a modern way, using new technology: work which he himself has been doing in Afghanistan. Let’s hope […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (19)

Things are hotting up with the Bell Foundry with Rory Stewart visiting at 2.45 tomorrow. I hope as many people as possible will be there to demonstrate local and national support. It shows that he intuitively recognises the value of traditional industries in the local culture of London communities and that London should not turn […]

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry (17)

I was asked last night for the current situation on the Bell Foundry. Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has told Tower Hamlets that planning permission to turn it into a hotel is temporarily suspended whilst he and his officials consider whether or not to call it in. He […]

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