Save The Whitechapel Bell Foundry
I am delighted to announce that a consortium of heritage groups have come together in a bid to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry by exploring how the site may continue as a working foundry. We shall be publishing reports on this endeavour as it evolves.
Bell by Rob Ryan
The East End Preservation Society has launched a petition to Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport to SAVE THE WHITECHAPEL BELL FOUNDRY which is due to shut forever in May after five centuries in the East End.
This letter was published in The Times on March 11th
We the undersigned wish to register our very serious concerns about the imminent loss of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. We are calling on Historic England to ensure the buildings are listed at Grade I, in recognition of their national and international significance.
Bells have been made continuously in Whitechapel since the 1570s. The business has been on its present site since the mid 1740s. It is one of just two remaining bell foundries in Britain, and the foundry is reportedly the oldest manufacturing company in the UK. This is the foundry that made Big Ben in 1858, the world famous US Liberty Bell and many many more. The foundry is set to close at the end of March, and its contents sold at auction.
We are very concerned that we will lose not only specialized jobs and skills, but that this type of business and trade is part of the historic essence of our towns and cities. How is Britain allowing this national treasure to slip through our fingers?
Henrietta Billings, Director, SAVE Britain’s Heritage
Peter Guillery, Senior Historian & Editor, Survey of London
Mike Heyworth, Director, Council for British Archaeology
David McKinstry, Secretary, The Georgian Group
Will Palin, The East End Preservation Society
Charles Saumarez Smith, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Arts
Matthew Saunders, Secretary, Ancient Monuments Society
Matthew Slocombe, Director, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
Tim Whittaker, The Spitalfields Trust
The Spitalfields Trust has submitted an application to Tower Hamlets Council to have Whitechapel Bell Foundry designated as an Asset of Community Value. It would be invaluable if readers can write in support of this application. You might like to say that, after five centuries, the Bell Foundry is an integral part of the historical identity of Whitechapel and that, as well as being a major tourist attraction, it is an important local employer that maintains skills which could easily be lost.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are sending your letter by post please address it to:
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
6th Floor Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Photographs copyright © Shahed Saleem
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