Whitechapel bell foundry has cast the first Royal Jubilee bell, as part of the ongoing preparations for the upcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The half-ton bell, named Elizabeth, was donated by the Worshipful Company of Vintners and is the largest of the eight bells to play an important part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in June.
The ‘Elizabeth bell’, cast on Friday, will be rung from the first vessel in the pageant: the Belfry Barge, which will lead the one thousand boats flotilla from Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge.
The Tower Hamlets based foundry was originally established in 1570 and takes pride in being the oldest manufacturing company in Britain.
Alan Hughes, managing director of The Whitechapel bell foundry, said: “I am delighted we’re doing it and it’s very exciting.”
Alongside the ‘Elizabeth bell’, two other bells were cast on Friday, while the remaining will be finished in the following six weeks and form the Royal Jubilee Bells.
Eight change ringers will form the Royal Jubilee Bellringers and will play a central part in the ceremony.
Dickon Love, chief bellringer and captain of the Royal Jubilee Bellringers said: “It is certainly an unprecedented challenge – a tower with a ring of bells has never been erected on a boat before. It should be an amazing sound, not to mention a remarkable sight.”
After the celebration, the bells will be placed in the Church of St James Garlickhythe in the City of London.