First bells for Covid-19 memorial are cast at iconic bell foundry

Published: Mon 13th September, 2021

  • Pictured, from left, Jane Hunt, MP for Loughborough and board member for Loughborough Town Deal, Andrew Wilby, Trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, and Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of the Loughborough Town Deal board and Leader of Charnwood Borough Council.
    Pictured, from left, Jane Hunt, MP for Loughborough and board member for Loughborough Town Deal, Andrew Wilby, Trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, and Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of the Loughborough Town Deal board and Leader of Charnwood Borough Council.

A memorial to mark the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local communities in Charnwood is starting to take shape.

The first three, quarter bells of the planned Hope Bell project were cast at Loughborough’s iconic John Taylor and Co bellfoundry over the weekend.

The Hope Bell project, backed by Loughborough Town Deal, will see the creation of a clock chime installation comprising four, quarter chime bells and the main Hope Bell to sound the hours.The molten metal is poured into a cast

The Hope Bell will be a lasting memorial to all those in Charnwood who have lost their lives in the Covid-19 pandemic and be a tribute to NHS and key workers. It will also be a beacon of hope for the future.

Loughborough is synonymous with bells, being home to the last working bellfoundry in the UK.

Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of the Loughborough Town Deal Board and Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “Bells have been made in Loughborough for over 180 years and they continue to be heard in towns and cities across the world. Therefore, it seems fitting that a bell will become the central focus of a lasting memorial to the impact Covid-19 has had on our local communities.

“The Hope Bell will be a symbol of hope, thanks and remembrance.

“It was fascinating to see this centuries-old process in action and the creation of the first bells for this poignant project.”

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, co-chair of the Loughborough Town Deal Board, said: “It is important to remember the lives lost in the pandemic and the impact Covid-19 has had on our local communities and the Hope Bell is a way of doing that. It will also be a place for people to visit and reflect.

“The Hope Bell will also be a symbol of a brighter, more positive future which aligns with the aims and ambitions that the Town Deal has for the town of Loughborough.”

Andrew Wilby, Trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, said: “We are honoured to play our part in the creation of this significant community Covid memorial to the citizens of Charnwood.

“Now that three of the four quarter bells have been cast successfully, they will spend several days cooling in sand before they are broken out from the moulds, cleaned, and then tuned before a final polish. The process takes several weeks.

"We look forward to casting the last quarter bell and the Hope Bell in the future."

The casting was part of a heritage open weekend at Taylor’s.

The Loughborough Town Deal Board has been offered £16.9 million by the Government to boost the local economy and bring improvements to the local area.

A series of projects backed by the Board have now been submitted to Government for further development, including the Lanes and Links projects of which the Hope Bell is part. It is anticipated the Hope Bell would be located in Queen’s Park

The four quarter bells will weigh between 3 cwt and 8 cwt and the main Hope Bell will weigh 1 ton 5 cwt, sound the note D and measure 4ft 4in in diameter.

Some aspects of the project, such as messages left by people, could be funded by public subscription.

The Town Deal Board wants the local community to be involved in the development of the Hope Bell project and that’s why comments and views are being invited. If you would like to have a say on the project in this early stage, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/hopebell

The Loughborough Town Deal board involves a range of organisations, including Charnwood Borough Council, Loughborough University, Loughborough College, Love Loughborough, Leicestershire County Council, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Charnwood Together Economy and Skills Group, local businesses and Loughborough MP Jane Hunt.

First bells for Covid-19 memorial are cast at iconic bell foundry

A memorial to mark the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local communities in Charnwood is starting to take shape.

The first three bells of the planned Hope Bell project were cast at Loughborough’s iconic John Taylor and Co bellfoundry over the weekend.

The Hope Bell project, backed by Loughborough Town Deal, will see the creation of a clock chime installation comprising four quarter chime bells and the main Hope  Bell to sound the hours.

The Hope Bell will be a lasting memorial to all those in Charnwood who have lost their lives in the Covid-19 pandemic and be a tribute to NHS and key workers. It will also be a beacon of hope for the future.

Loughborough is synonymous with bells, being home to the last working bellfoundry in the UK.

Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal and Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “Bells have been made in Loughborough for over 180 years and they continue to be heard in towns and cities across the world. Therefore, it seems fitting that a bell will become the central focus of a lasting memorial to the impact Covid-19 has had on our local communities.

“The Hope Bell will be a symbol of hope, thanks and remembrance.

“It was fascinating to see this centuries old process in action and the creation of the first bells for this poignant project.”

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal, said: “It is important to remember the lives lost in the pandemic and the impact Covid-19 has had on our local communities and the Hope Bell is a way of doing that. It will also be a place for people to visit and reflect.

“The Hope Bell will also be a symbol of a brighter, more positive future which is aligns with the aims and ambitions that the Town Deal has for the town of Loughborough.”

Andrew Wilby, Trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, said said: “We are honoured to play our part in the creation of this significant community Covid memorial to the citizens of Charnwood.

“Now that three of the four quarter bells have been cast successfully, they will spend several days cooling in sand before they are broken out from the moulds, cleaned, and then tuned before a final polish.

“The process takes several weeks.”

The casting was part of a heritage open weekend at Taylor’s.

The Loughborough Town Deal Board has been offered £16.9 million by the Government to boost the local economy and bring improvements to the local area.

A series of projects backed by the Board have now been submitted to Government for further development, including the Lanes and Links projects of which the Hope Bell is part of.

It is anticipated the Hope Bell would be located in Queen’s Park

The four quarter bells will weigh between 3 cwt and 8 cwt and the main Hope Bell will weigh 1 ton 5 cwt, sound the note D and measure 4ft 4in in diameter.

Some aspects of the project, such as messages left by people, could be funded by public subscription.

The Town Deal Board wants the local community to be involved in the development of the Hope Bell project and that’s why comments and views are being invited. If you would like to have a say on the project in this early stage, please visit

The Loughborough Town Deal board involves a range of organisations, including Charnwood Borough Council, Loughborough University, Loughborough College, Love Loughborough, Leicestershire County Council, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Charnwood Together Economy and Skills Group, local businesses and Loughborough MP Jane Hunt.