22 April, 2012
A wander in Whitechapel
A visit to the Whitechapel Art Gallery led to a bit of a wander through Whitechapel itself. There are some bits of heritage, for example there is on one building the ghostly lettering 'Working Lad's Institute' with separate doors leading to the Gymnasium and the Lecture Hall but one building has been going since 1570 - it's the Whitechapel Bell foundry that casts bells for the world (except the one for the Olympics that is being cast in the Netherlands). The firm even had responsibility for recasting the bell for Big Ben when it got cracked after testing. The bell was first cast in Norton-on-Tees. It always seems closed when I go past, and I don't think they have a lot of work on, but I suppose what they do is very profitable and with the number of bells around the world there must be some demand for new ones most of the time.