04 Mar Covid-19: Bell of hope planned to honour virus response

A foundry which crafted a carillon to remember those who died in World War One is hoping to cast a new bell for Covid-19 victims and key workers.

Under the plans John Taylor & Co, Britain’s last such foundry, would make a Hope Bell for Loughborough, Leicestershire, its base since 1859.

The bell, part of a plan by the Loughborough Town Deal, would cost about £150,000 to install.

If approved, the tribute could be ready next year.

Michael Wilby, managing director of John Taylor & Co, said: “Having made the carillon as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Great War, 100 years later we are honoured to be asked to cast another bell to commemorate those who lost their lives to the pandemic.”

The company has been at the same site since 1859 and last year received £3.45m in funding to help secure its future.  It has cast more than 25,000 bells that are hung in more than 100 countries, including the largest church bell in Britain, Great Paul, which hangs in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Jonathan Morgan, co-chairman of the Town Deal Board and leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said the bell would be “a symbol of hope” with a local resonance.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our community and we want to create something that could act as a focal point for remembrance and reflection,” he said.

Fellow co-chair Dr Nik Kotecha added: “It is right that we come together as a community to find a way to remember those who have died. The Hope Bell would be a fitting way to do that.

“It would also be a way to honour the NHS and other key workers who have saved many other lives and kept the country going in one of its darkest times.”

Reported by BBC news, 3 March 2021: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-56253979

Angela Mason
Angela Mason