Halifax foundry to appear in Channel 4 documentary on restoration of Big Ben

Hargreaves Foundry has been involvedin making castings for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster for some years
Hargreaves Foundry has been involvedin making castings for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster for some years

A Halifax foundry will feature in a new Channel 4 documentary following the restoration of Big Ben.

Hargreaves Foundry has been involved in making castings for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster for some years so when the latest conservation project began the company offered its services.

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The foundry on Water Lane has been involved in replacing the original Victorian iron castings from the Elizabeth Tower, where Big Ben the bell is housed.

Filmmakers spent time at the foundry filming the casting process from pattern making through to finishing.

Richard Hall from Hargreaves Foundry said: "This is an immensely prestigious project involving some of the best architects, engineers, historians, archivists and manufacturers in the country and we are immensely proud to be involved, especially given Halifax’s close association with Charles Barry, the original architect."

The programme will be presented by architectural historian Anna Keay who met the specialist craftspeople who are bringing their skills to bear on the business of restoring Big Ben, and discovers the impact it is having on British industries struggling to survive.

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The TV listing says: "The project is using technology to uncover astonishing secrets of the clock tower's original design, and Anna reveals how Big Ben will look once it is returned to its former Victorian glory.

"In the words of one foundry owner in Halifax who has been charged with making the new cast ironwork for the clock tower, the rebirth of Big Ben is bringing about the rebirth of his foundry.

"There are surprises in store - not just regarding the original look of the clock faces, but because a secret has been hidden in the very pinnacle of the Elizabeth Tower itself. But with the clock mechanism dismantled and sent off site too, the big question is how can Parliament get Big Ben's bells to herald the arrival of the New Year?"

Big Ben: Countdown to New Year will appear on Channel 4 at 9pm on Sunday, 30 December.

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