27 JULY 2012

All The Bells

The crowd gathers - photo by Neil Thomas

It was in one of his books about English Parish Churches that Sir John Betjeman said:

"I make no apology for writing at such length on the subject of church bells. They ring through our lives, our history and our literature just as they do across our rooftops and few remaining elms".

Alan Hughes rings our biggest handbell - photo by Neil Thomas

How appropriate therefore that Martin Creed’s "All The Bells" project should have been so widely supported around the country. Thousands of people, for just three minutes, rang as many bells as they could lay their hands on and as loudly as possible.

The press takes its photographs - photo by Neil Thomas

We at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry gave support to this wonderful and momentous event staged the same day as the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games. Friends, customers and indeed members of the public joined us at the foundry to ring as many bells as we could put together for the event. Bells hung for change ringing, hand operated chiming bells, electrically operated chiming bells, an electrically swung bell, tower bells, musical handbells, tuned cup bells, town crier’s bells, school bells, front door bells, clock bells, small presentation bells and even a replica of the Newgate Prison execution bell. Bells ranging in size from mini bells of 1½” in diameter, the 32G musical handbell weighing 18 lbs up to the largest of the tower bells weighing approximately half a ton were rung.

Foundry ringers - photo by Neil Thomas

In this, the Ringing Isle, there was surely never an occasion when so many bells of so many different types were rung at the same time.

Nigel Taylor rings in the WBF loading bay - photo by Neil Thomas

June 2012:
February 2012:
December 2011:
January 2010:
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October 2008:
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April 2007:
July 2006:
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October 2004:
July 2003:
June 2003:
September 2002:
Late-August 2002:
August 2002:
April 2002:
February 2002:
September 2001:
May 2001:
February 2001:
December 1999:
The Diamond Jubilee, a Royal Visit, and a Summer of Bells
Ovingham - Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Ecclesfield - Church of St. Mary
Whitechapel in the Snow
The Whitechapel Trophy
Wolsey's Bells
Royal Visit
Three Recent Installations (Stanion, Londal Castle, Harefield)
The 2008 Ringing Roadshow
Big Ben - the 150th Anniversary
Quebec: Holy Trinity
Government Seeks Whitechapel Help
New Cathedral Ring for Alabama
WBF Wins Best Family Business Award
Whitechapel and A Passion for Churches
Report on 2005 Ringing Roadshow
Three Decades of Charlie Smith
Ringing at the Royal Northern
100 Years of the Hughes Family at WBF
Lord Mayor Opens WBF Shop Extension
Report on Ringing Roadshow, 2003
Ringing Roadshow, 2003
New York: The 9-11 Bell Dedication
The 1881 Libel Case
Casting the 9-11 Bell
Another Liberty Bell
A Big Wheel
Open Day 2001 (with photos)
Historic Finds at the Foundry
Open Day 2000 (with photos)
Masham and the Millennium

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