The Whitechapel Bell Foundry was where the great bell of Big Ben was cast, the Liberty Bell, and the bells of hundreds of Victorian churches and civic buildings, bells for carillons, and beautiful bells for thousands of hand-bell ringers.
Bells have been being made there for hundreds of years, since Shakespeare’s time. It has all its casting pits and lifting equipment in situ. It is an amazing piece of British London-based industrial archaeology, in active use until very recently.
A developer is planning to turn this extraordinary place into a “boutique hotel” which supposedly acknowledges the past, but in a highly ‘cleansed’ way that denies it any real connection to the work of creating bells.
BUT all is not lost! There is a much better plan for the site – to return it to working use, with fresh capital. But this can only happen if the hotel plan is rejected by the planners. Then the other scheme which keeps the functionality of the workshop has a real chance of success.
Please read the blog by the Gentle Author (link below), which explains everything, and – if you feel persuaded – do write to the Planners at Tower Hamlets to object the hotel idea. They should pay attention to the requirement for ‘optimum use’. The more objections, the better the chances the foundry will cast more bells.
Here is the blog, which has details of whom to address, and help with what to say. A brief email is all that is required.