Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The left set of templates hanging on the wall were used to cast Big Ben.
It is reported that Whitechapel Bell Foundry is casting a 27-ton bell today (Jan27Fr) for the London Olympics [BBC story]. It is said it will be Europe’s largest bell and is to be hung in the Olympic Stadium. Its inscription, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest Act III Scene 2 line 148, is to be
Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises
The largest bell Whitechapel has cast to date was the Great Bell of Westminster (“Big Ben”) in 1858, about half as large at 13-odd tons, and taking twenty days to solidify and cool. It was transported on a horse-drawn trolley across London (map). 13-odd to 27 tons is a big increase to take in one step.
In addition, the organizers have invited ringers to ring every church bell in the UK for three minutes starting at 8am Fr 27 Jul 2012, to constitute a performance of conceptual artist Martin Creed’s “Work No.1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes” [London 2012 Festival posting].
This will be at 3am Miami time, an hour when bellringing in Miami would probably not be well-received. Otherwise the Miami tower might well ring in synchronous support of this tremendous ringing. We are considering ringing with the bells muffled, or (if we get the simulator wired up by then) on the simulator.