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Whitechapel Bell Foundry Alert

August 23, 2019
by the gentle author

We want Tower Hamlets Council to make it their policy to Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a working foundry and reject the developers’ rotten proposal to turn it into a boutique hotel.

To this end, we need two thousand people who live, work or study in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to sign a petition on the council website. This will trigger a debate on the subject at the next full meeting of the council on 18th September, which will give all the elected councillors the chance to express their opinions and vote on making Saving the Whitechapel Bell Foundry official council policy.

Please click on the link below to sign the petition and then circulate this to all your friends, family, workmates and neighbours in the borough over the holiday weekend.

There is no time to waste. The quicker we can get these two thousand names, the stronger the message it sends of the strength of feeling of residents on this matter.


Photographs taken by David Hoffman at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in July 1973 and published for the first time today © David Hoffman

[youtube Rd6_iUF5Kbg nolink]

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36 Responses leave one →
  1. August 23, 2019

    Sorry I can’t help with signing the list! Hope you get enough signatures. Valerie

  2. Ron Wilkinson permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Best of Luck to you!

  3. Greg Tingey permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Is there a way for interested parties to support if they are not TH residents/workers?

  4. Esther Birchall permalink
    August 23, 2019

    I am not eligible to sign the petition as I live in Australia but I would like to lend my support for keeping the Bell Foundry as a working historical enterprise.

  5. Jill Wilson permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Yes – my question too…Is there anything we ‘outsiders’ can do to show our support?

  6. Doug Haywood permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Signed and shared, of course. Note that the petition copy within LBTH website is cut short. The last sentence reads as “We petition the Council to investigate and commit to actions to preserve the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a working foundr”

  7. August 23, 2019

    Signed and shared. Best of luck. It would be a crime not to save it.

  8. Rajonuddin Jalal permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
    It is a part of our history and heritage in East London.

  9. Alison Southgate permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Save this important part of our history.

  10. Rupert Bumfrey permalink
    August 23, 2019

    It is apparent that Tower Hamlets Council will pay attention to the “local” petition, with merely an acknowledgement of the Change petition.

    Therefore the campaign needs to be focussed on the local streets, where the residents and workers are to be found!

    Will there be a street stall, with internet connected laptops so residents and workers may be guided through the process?

    Have all local news outlets, paper media, online etc been conscripted to the cause?

    Have local MP’s been brought onboard, possibly their clinics could be used to meet constituents?

    Will home/hospital visits be made to meet those who are not internet connected? Has Sophie in Treves House signed yet?

    Sorry if this is a duplication of what may have already been discussed.

    Best wishes to all those involved locally.

    Superbly atmospheric photos.

  11. Paul Loften permalink
    August 23, 2019

    I live in a nearby borough and I cant think of any authentic address in TH that I could give . Although if you have a campaign stall I can offer my help .

  12. Danuta Kean permalink
    August 23, 2019

    This is an appalling proposal that threatens a nationally significant historical workshop. I urge you to reject it as it threatens the historical identity of the community and London

  13. Amanda permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Superb suggestions from Rupert.

    Yes a street stall to help those who are internet free and spreading the appeal right on the spot.
    And to notify the victorious Sophie + neighbours who saved their own block. Treves House residents will have garnered many local enthusiastic useful contacts during their campaign.

    l have pinged the GAs appeal to the Historians and City Walking Guides l know who each have a band of followers.

    Dear Esther in Australia, my personal humble opinion is your letter supporting the keen interest
    in this matter from the other side of the globe could be the attention grabbing wake up this council needs. No matter if your signature from abroad may not count, they still read correspondence and may note how far reaching the publicity spreads.

    Their complete address, postal + email, with Reference Number to quote is on the GA’s former Bell Foundry posting, l think.

    As always thanks for all your superb efforts GA. Hope our responsive enthusiasm is gratifying.

  14. Paul Loften permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Most certainly . I have already signed the original petition if its this link is to the same petition that that has been there from the start.

  15. nicholas permalink
    August 23, 2019

    signed it, I agree it should be saved, good luck

  16. Amanda permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Noon Friday 23 August

    19.581 signatures on the petition at this hour.

    5.500 more required to reach 25,000

    for the precious foundry which produced Big Ben and the US Liberty Bell.

  17. Linda Granfield permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Sending all best wishes and hoping to hear you have more local signatures than you need.

  18. Linda Granfield permalink
    August 23, 2019

    Just signed ‘the Outsiders’ petition.

  19. Peter Metaxas permalink
    August 23, 2019

    I wish I could sign the petition. I did write the council expressing my sadness and urging them to keep the foundry. Alternately how much $ would be needed to buy the property and keep it as is?
    How many millions !
    Peter Metaxas
    2546 Iona Rd.
    Prince Edward Island
    Canada C0A 1A0

  20. Elaine Fanning permalink
    August 23, 2019

    All the very best and hope this gets saved.

  21. Akbal permalink
    August 23, 2019

    A boutique hotel? Get lost!

  22. j nolan permalink
    August 23, 2019

    another piece of all our history sold to WHAT! another hotel, yea just what we need, dont supose
    they will be taking any of our rough sleepers.

  23. Shona Marshall permalink
    August 23, 2019

    I don’t live in Tower Hamlets but fully support keeping the bell foundry! Shame on those who want to develop it!

  24. mlaiuppa permalink
    August 24, 2019

    Nothing beats going door to door to get signatures. It doesn’t take an army and people who may not live in the area and be able to sign themselves can certainly do their party by carrying petitions and getting them signed. Create a map for volunteers and assign them areas to avoid duplication and make sure all areas are covered. Hit the local pubs and other places where the locals meet. You can’t get them signed in church but you can certainly stand outside when people exit. If you want 2,000 signatures (or more), while an online petition is convenient, there is power in the written signature. Print out some petitions and have them taken around the entire qualified area and have the collectors talk to people, explain and make sure that their signatures are eligible. There is nothing so powerful as a set of hand signed petitioned, taped end to end and rolled out as a long scroll at a meeting. Trust me. I’ve attended many a school board meeting where that is exactly what was done. I myself walked petitions up and down the entire length of my street, from the north end to the south end, both sides and we have mid-block high pressure sodium streetlights to deter crime and the line for eminent domain was moved 100 feet to save dozens of single family homes from the threat of redevelopment.

    Print them out, walk them around, get them signed. It may be old fashioned but it is powerful. You can get an easy 2,000 physical signatures this way. Printing out the ones from the internet is just the icing no the cake. (Or the nail in the developer’s coffin if you will.)

  25. Karen permalink
    August 24, 2019

    The foundry is in our street, it would be very sad to see it turned into a hotel, i’ve signed and asked some neighbours too.

  26. Rebecca Aylward permalink
    August 24, 2019

    Save the bells

  27. Jean Walters permalink
    August 24, 2019

    As an descendant of William Mears and a ringing member of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers and Halifax Archdeaconry Guild of Change Ringers I wish you every success. So sorry I am unable to sign the petition., being outside the area.

  28. Janice Gordon permalink
    August 25, 2019

    It’s such a shame that this borough has so much interesting history and we are being robbed
    The London hospital has a museum in the basement where John Merrick the elephant man
    Once lived. Shame on us.?

  29. Suzanne permalink
    August 27, 2019

    I wish I was eligible to sign! If there is another petition please let me know.

  30. Christopher Walton permalink
    August 27, 2019

    We must save this important London business and landmark.
    While things have and always will change and develop in this great city of oues, this must be balanced with retaining the traditional trades that have been with us for centuries.

  31. K Boldero permalink
    September 8, 2019

    Once gone, the history is lost! Let’s top down the House of Parliament!

  32. C Rabourdin permalink
    September 22, 2019

    Just seen this after the council meeting sadly so can’t circulate, but why is the petition only open to people who live or work in the area? I am almost certain that you would get London-wide support to keep the foundry alive. C

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