A huge 23 tonne bell, to be the largest in Europe, will be cast by Eijsbouts in Asten, North Brabant for the Olympic Games in London this summer. The British media is miffed because the contract was supposed to be handled by the British company Whitechapel, but they subcontracted it to Eijsbouts yesterday. The reason given was “the bell was sent overseas because it [Whitechapel] lacked the facilities to cast it here.” To me this reads as ‘we couldn’t do the job, but we wanted to score the contract’ and sounds weird because another British company, Taylor’s, claims it could have done the job in the UK. And part of the London 2012 specifications was insisting that the bell is cast in this country.
So why did the Dutch get the order? Enter complaints about losing work in Britain and about foreigners making the Brits look bad. Then again, the organisers are the same brilliant people who wanted to have The Who’s deceased drummer Keith Moon play at the opening ceremonies. He died way back in 1978. I can only deduce that subcontracting was cheaper, cheap enough to ignore specifications.
We know the bell could have been made in the UK by Taylor’s, the largest bell foundry in the world, but Eijsbouts is making it, a company that also claims to be the largest bell foundry in the world.
(Links: nos.nl, www.mirror.co.uk, www.loughboroughecho.net)
Tags: Asten, bells, North Brabant, Olympics
Way back in August and December 2007, we posted about a Tilburg pastor who rang his church bells way too early and who got fined for doing so.
And since I love a good trinity, the city council has now ruled that the bells can only be rung after 7:30 am.
Priest Harm Schilder claimed the right to call the faithful to prayer as part of religious freedom. OK, but city council thinks the neighbours have a right to be woken up with their own alarm clocks at a time of their choice.
(Link: dutchnews.nl, Photo: bells, Valkenburg, Limburg)
Tags: bells, church, Tilburg
A court in Breda has found that Tilburg priest Harm Schilder is allowed to harass his neighbours by ringing his church bells far too loud at early hours. Although the court (LJN: BB8689) recognized that the city had the authority to impose fines and make rules limiting the noise levels its citizens are allowed to reach, it also pointed out that there is state law that overrules city law in this case. Specifically, the “Besluit woon- en verblijfsgebouwen milieubeheer” (Decision Housing and Living Buildings Environmental Management) states that churches are allowed to make as much noise as they want when calling the flock (“1.1.2. Excluded from determining the noise levels are [...] the sound required to call one to practice their religion or life philosophy”).
Call me a cynic, but I’ve got a funny feeling that this ruling won’t stand long once the first mosque starts making use of this privilege, and the usual demagogue crowd will start howling “terrorism”.
Tags: bells, churches, courts, law, Tilburg