Back to John and Sue's Home Page


We visited the Whitechapel Bell Foundry for a tour which was conducted by Mark, the Works Manager. Anthony and Margaret, who play with us in a handbell quartet, joined us for the tour.  We had an excellent time and some photographs are shown below.





                                         The foyer at the start of the tour                                                              Margaret listening attentively


                                            Mark in the courtyard area                                                                          Sue taking copious notes


                               12 bells (10 diatonic and 2 half notes)                                                        Yes this is definitely Whitechapel


                    Mark showing a Burmese temple bell made circa 1200 AD                Mark showing sand, clay, horse manure and goat's hair used to make

                                                                                                                   the loam which in turn is used for making the moulding cases for church

                                                                                                                   bells. This method has been used since 1778



                                                Anthony and Margaret                                                                               Loam as referred to above


                     A moulding gauge to mould the shape of the actual bell                                       Mould of a bell with markings made by stamps


                         Mark answering one of many questions from Sue                                             Mark standing on the bell tuning turntable


                                                   A selection of bells                                                                Cannon on top of a bell used for mounting the bell


                                       In another area of the foundry                                     Bell with "Whitechapel" headstock used for mounting a bell. This is

                                                                                                                     the modern method of mounting bells (without using a cannon)


                                               Sue enjoying the tour                                                              Mark explaining how musical handbells are made


                          The handbell patterns (made of bell metal)                          Packing the boxes full of sand round the handbell pattern to make a 

                                                                                                                  mould from which to cast the handbell


                                              In the handbell workshop                                                             One of the tools used to tune handbells


        Nothing is wasted  -  these metal shavings produced from the tuning                        Anthony (right) and 2 others listening to Mark's talk

      process go back in the pot                            


                                           Leather pegs on clapper                                                                   Felt covering leather pegs on clapper


                                   Explaining the components of a handbell                                                                The Whitechapel shop


                                        A display cabinet in the shop                                                                           Further displays


                                             A set of musical handchimes                                     This photo was taken in May 2005 when collecting our new handbells

                                                                                                                                  John with Steve who made our new handbells


Back to John and Sue's Home Page