Canberra, Australia – The Largest Bell Cast in Britain for More than 25 Years!
The National Carillon
The Australian Government has now expanded the major rebuilding work being undertaken on the National Carillon to include the casting and tuning of the largest semi-tone bell. This was omitted when the carillon was manufactured by Taylor’s in 1970 due to cost considerations, but will now be added to complete the instrument. The cast bell will have a diameter of 6′ 9″ and the cast weight will be over 5.5 tons, after tuning the bell will weigh approximately 5 tons. To cast such a large bell we will have to recommission one of our wall furnaces, which have a total capacity of 25 tons. The new bell will be cast in the second half of this year.
The photo below shows Foundry man Anthony Stone preparing the outer case mould – it’s massive and he has to use a ladder to climb into the case when working lower down! It is worthy of note that Taylor’s have probably cast more heavy bells than any other bell foundry, with more than two hundred bells from Loughborough weighing between 2 tons and 17 tons – and, unlike other bell foundries, all of them have been cast here and not farmed out to other foundries!
The huge strickle or crook has been retrieved from storage and set up in the Foundry in preparation for moulding to begin. The massive bell case is also now in position for the construction of the outer mould to begin. The lining of the outer case is underway.
Moulding is a slow process, and the massive case has to be moved into the foundry oven to dry properly as each stage progresses.
Anthony has started the construction of the massive core mould on the base plate.
The mould has been completed and it is anticipated that the bell will be cast in the coming weeks.
This bell has been cast and has been tuned - it sounds beautiful with a long resonant bass hum. It has been dispatched.
The large bell arrived in Canberra and has been hoisted into the tower and hung - the project nears completion but has been halted by covid19.
Our bell hanger has been flown back to the UK on one of the last flights out of Sydney before shut down!