An old, hot, sweaty foundry in London's East End is creating a gift to the city of New York.
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London's East End has a right to be called old-fashioned. It was established in the 16th century.
The foundry's latest project is a bell in memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the September 11 attacks in the United States.
The foundry had to build a giant mold to accommodate the hot molten bronze used to make the special bell. Among those in attendance at the special metal-pouring ceremony was the U.S. Ambassador to Britain William Farish. He reminded the audience that the Whitechapel Foundry had built another bell for the United States, the Liberty Bell, a symbol of the American revolution.
"Being here in this incredible facility, 400 years old, where the Liberty Bell was cast in 1750, is a remarkable thing. It is an incredible reaffirmation of the special relationship that exists between our two countries," Mr. Farish said.
Also at the ceremony was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey. "We want to say to New York on September 11th that we in London support you, and we are praying that New York and America will recover from the terrible terrorist attack, and it is a sign of celebration that church and nation are very much in business," he said.
After a cooling period that lasts several days, the bell, which weighs 290-kilograms and measures nearly a meter across, will be cleaned and tuned and sent across the Atlantic Ocean.
It will be donated to the Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, near the site where the World Trade Center once stood.
Mr. Carey will fly over to deliver a sermon at Trinity Church on the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack.
London's Lord Mayor, Michael Oliver, will also be there to officially hand over the bell. "It shows the support from the people of London to the people of New York. It rings out hope, it is a sign of hope, and it is also commemorative," Mr. Oliver said.
The bell will rest on a specially constructed stand in the churchyard for all to see.
An inscription on the bell will read, "To the greater glory of God and in recognition of the enduring links between the city of London and the city of New York. Forged in adversity, September 11, 2001."