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The Battle For The Bell Foundry

September 28, 2020
by the gentle author

Rupert Warren QC will be representing us

The Public Inquiry into the future of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry commences next week on Tuesday 6th October at 10am. It is to be an online event for all to see, streamed live for ten days, and we hope as many as possible will watch.

At a Public Inquiry everyone has a right to participate, either in writing or verbally. If you would like to contribute a statement, either on behalf of yourself or your group – whether your community group, your history society or band of bell ringers – you are encouraged to do so. For a link to watch and to request to speak, send an email in advance to

We are delighted to announce that the East End Preservation Society’s petition to SAVE THE WHITECHAPEL BELL FOUNDRY as a fully working foundry has reached over 25,270 signatures. Please click here to sign if you have not already done so.

Meanwhile, Raycliff, the sneaky developers who want to convert the bell foundry into a bell-themed boutique hotel, have now launched their own campaign with leaflets and sponsored posts on facebook, inviting people to ‘Preserve the Whitechapel Bell Foundry‘ by supporting their development. Please do not be deceived by this misinformation. Their intention is to reduce bell founding to a sideshow for tourists, making tiny bells in the coffee bar of their hotel, when we all know that cappuccinos and casting are not compatible.

Leaflet produced by the Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry campaign

You may also like to read about

The Secretary of State steps in

A Letter to the Secretary of State

Rory Stewart Supports Our Campaign 

Casting a Bell at Here East

The Fate of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Save Our Bell Foundry

A Bell-Themed Boutique Hotel?

Hope for The Whitechapel Bell Foundry

A Petition to Save the Bell Foundry

Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Jill Wilson permalink
    September 28, 2020

    I’ll be there, and will send out another request to all my friends and family to sign the petition if they haven’t already done so.

    And I do hope people haven’t been fooled by the sneaky claim by Raycliff that they will be “preserving” the bell Foundry….that really is fake news!

  2. September 28, 2020

    Not sure how much you could enjoy your coffee and cake as the fires roar and the hammers pound. Good luck.

  3. September 28, 2020

    I have signed. It is tragic that nationwide our history and landscape is being relegated to a commercial based side show.

  4. Linda Granfield permalink
    September 28, 2020

    ‘You’ve’ got the developer scrambling. Otherwise, Raycliff’s ridiculous caffe/foundry last-ditch-attempt leaflet wouldn’t have been made and delivered.

    Good luck on October 6th. I’ll be cheering you on from Toronto!

    (And if funds are still needed for the cause, I’ll buy a T-shirt with the Bell Foundry logo on it! Perhaps the other 25,000+ supporters will too.)

  5. September 28, 2020

    Pitsea Estate TRA (Tenants & Residents Association were sent information by the developers, which appeared as though it was part of a campaign to save the Foundry. On further examination, I realised that this was not linked to the genuine campaign to preserve and support this important site of local history. East End history and important sites are being ‘airbrushed’ out of existence or turned into lightweight venues which diminish their importance to the residents of the area.

  6. Jenny Bluefields permalink
    September 28, 2020

    My Danish great-grandfather emigrated to Australia on the same voyage aboard the RMS Dacca that brought this magnificent bell from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry to St Stephens Cathedral in Brisbane, Australia in 1887. You can read about the bell and its cathedral at this blog entry:'s%20bell%20weighs,Its%20belltower%20is%20tiny.

    If the link doesn’t transfer, the blog is called “Brismania, an urban love affair”. The size of the bell in contrast to everything else, is just sublime. It’s now on display at garden level. It weighs an astonishing 2.856 tonnes.

    This extract from one of the Cathedral guides contains information about the designers and its history.

    “Cathedral Bell
    Bronze by Mears and Stainbank, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London. c1885.
    The Cathedral Bell, now sitting on four concrete pillars outside Mercy House, served the Cathedral
    for a century from 1888. In 1988, major renovations to the Cathedral commenced and the bell was
    placed in its current position.
    The bell is made from bronze, weighs almost three tonnes and was cast
    by Mears and Stainbank of the famous Whitechapel Bell Foundry in
    London. The Liberty Bell (1752), Big Ben (1858 and 13.5 tonnes) and the
    London Olympic Bell (2012) were all cast in this foundry, established in
    1574, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The factory ceased operation
    at its London location in 2017 due to the changing nature and
    demographic of that area of London.
    The bell arrived in Australia on RMS Dacca in 1887. It was blessed by
    Archbishop Dunne on 15 April 1888 in an elaborate ceremony. Its
    godparents were Mr. P.W. Crowe and Miss Mary Shannon. This was the
    Roman way of blessing a church bell, and a blessed bell cannot
    afterwards be used for other purposes. The donor was Mrs Kelly of Boundary Street, Brisbane, who
    paid the cost of £250.
    It was hoisted into a temporary wooden belfry close to its current grounded position. The 1888
    belfry was designed by Mr Alexander Wilson, a Brisbane architect. Today the grassed area near the
    bell and its protective cover is a popular meeting place for people visiting the Cathedral precinct.”


  7. Su C. permalink
    September 28, 2020

    The Foundry is a very special place that holds some much WORLD history within its walls.

    Good luck. I only wish I could observe and comment from California. Hoping for a favorable outcome.

  8. paul loften permalink
    September 28, 2020

    I cant see how they can cast bells even tiny ones in a cafe . There are a few ways of casting, sand , investment, plaster, Even perhaps a cuttlefish bone but the smell of burnt fish may put off the customers all of them are a bit messy with fumes and dust and hot flame in an enclosed space. If they actually do it i cant see the council health and safety department being very happy with it happening in a food environment. It just doesnt wash . In fact their swank cafe may need a good wash afterwards.

  9. Yvonne (Buffman) Cheyney permalink
    October 1, 2020

    Went to school at Robert Montefiore and went past the foundry many times 1953-58. Support the events to presume the foundry. The foundry that made the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia should not be destroyed. Sending best wishes and support from Southern California.

  10. October 2, 2020

    Gentle Author,

    I wish you and all who support the foundry every success in the upcoming battle. May might be on your side.

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