Whitechapel Foundry's Future

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by jmclaugh, Feb 12, 2019.

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  1. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    What will happen to the famous foundry where Big Ben and the Liberty Bell were cast is unclear as campaigners propose continuing it as a working foundry while the owner plans to turn it into a hotel and artists' workshop.

    Bid to save Big Ben bell foundry
     
  2. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
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    I hope they succeed in reopening it
    It is a very interesting place, tours round it were always over subscribed
    Two of the most famous bells in the world were cast there
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    I thought the original plan was to move the business to modern premises and retain the building for development? I think the current location had cost and practical issues for the longevity of the business. I'm sorry to hear that didn't happen.
     
  4. NigelW

    NigelW Registered User

    Jan 2, 2015
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    Some good news (I hope) about Whitechapel's small bells business. I received an email this morning in response to my query about making a set of three bells for my quarter repeat. This is an extract:

    "Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd has not closed, it is still in business, but we vacated the Whitechapel Road site in 2017.

    All our products (which are protected in the UK by Registered Trade Marks) remain in manufacture. Tower bells may be purchased from the Westley Group and the range of small bells
    for clocks, presentation, our musical handbells etc all remain in production (we have over 1,000 different patterns for these!) via the below company.

    We look forward to hearing from you further,
    Kind regards
    Kathryn Hughes
    Director, Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd

    and on behalf of:

    Bells of Whitechapel Ltd
    Unit Q
    Bromley Business Centre
    27 Hastings Road
    BROMLEY
    Kent BR2 8NA

    Tel: 020 8462 9419
    International: +44 208 462 9419

    www.bellsofwhitechapel.london"
     
  5. NigelW

    NigelW Registered User

    Jan 2, 2015
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    Just received a further e-mail:

    "
    Dear Nigel

    Thank you for your email., we will look forward to meeting you in the new year.

    Unfortunately, much nonsense and misleading information has been widely put about by an organisation called UKBPHT. They keep stating that Whitechapel Bell Foundry has closed, and that they will re instate our business in our previous premises and such like. There are several "big names" associated with their campaign and they seem to be convincing many that they are the future of OUR company .....their campaign is based upon teling people that our old premises are to be turned into a "boutique hotel with a swimming pool on the top" by a "rapacious USA developer".

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The Raycliff plans fully restore the old Grade II* listed parts of the building, using these as workshops and offices, and retsoring a small foundry which would be operated by the Westley Group (who have the right to use our trade mark) and AB Foundry, an art foundry in Limehouse. Thus the real Whitechapel name can be restored into the premises if the Raycliff plan (which was passed by Tower Hamlets but has now been held by the Secretary of State due to interference by UKHBPT) The proposed hotel building would be adacent to our old buildings, on a site which already has planning permission to build a hotel!

    Sadly, UKHBPT media exposure overwhelms ours. We are currently taking legal advice as to how better protect our name and products from their onslaught!

    Fortunately, most of our customers do know the truth and we continue to thrive albeit at new address.

    It would be most distressing if UKBPHT do gain control of our old premises and pretend to be us - they have absolutely no knowledge of our products and customers and we still own and
    control all the pattern equipment, customer and manufacturing data for our products, so anything that they produce would not be of the Whitechapel pedigree!

    With kind regards
    Kathryn Hughes

    Bells of Whitechapel Ltd
    Unit Q
    Bromley Business Centre
    27 Hastings Road
    BROMLEY
    Kent BR2 8NA"
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
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    This is a really interesting situation. UKBHPT has just re-branded itself as Re-Form. It is a registered charity that targets abandoned industries and attempts to remake them into tour destinations while preserving as much as possible of the original function.

    It would seem to me that Bells of Whitechapel have done a good job of meeting the same goals with their business restructuring but apparently not to the view of Re-Form. Bells of Whitechapel is at a disadvantage in this dispute in that the Re-Form group can call on public funds and does not need to meet the operating business objectives that the company does.

    I would like to know more as this develops, but probably do not have the time to track the events as they happen. I hope our UK friends can keep us posted.
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    It all sounds very sad, I don't like the sound of this pseudo charity at all.
     

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