Press Room

Hear it here first! For important National Bell Festival announcements, special news, and team successes, tune in below. We're making sound waves!

Bells of London to Resound on July 31

Greater vaccine adoption across England means that the beleaguered City of London is finally able to reopen. COVID-19 restrictions across the city are being eased and people are gathering together again. Certainly reason to celebrate!

Celebrating the Bicentenary of the Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus

This June 26 marks the 200th anniversary of Rev. Henry Thomas Ellacombe’s invention of a mechanism that allowed a single person to ring a set of tower bells. Two centuries ago, the good reverend sat in his study and lamented the unruly, disobedient, and downright drunkard behavior of the local troupe of change ringers. He had a mind to do something about it.

In Memoriam: Luigi Bergamo

The pandemic has left many grieving hearts in its wake. Those in the business of making bells felt this all too keenly this spring when Luigi Bergamo, 76, former director of the Cornille-Havard bell foundry in Villedieu-les-Poêles and a titan of campanology, succumbed to complications from COVID-19.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry to Become Boutique Hotel

Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Britain’s oldest factory, shut its doors in 2017 and a fight for its future has been raging ever since. The foundry had been casting bronze bells in London since 1570. Big Ben was made there in 1858. The Liberty Bell was made there in 1752. Over the centuries, bells from Whitechapel had made their way all over the world. Some 500 Whitechapel tower bells can be found in Australia, 600 in the US, and at least 900 in Canada.

BellFest Salutes Australia’s Inaugural Festival of Bells

Congratulations to Australia's inaugural Festival of Bells! The event centered around Bathurst's recently-upgraded and now world-class War Memorial Carillon. Music, celebrations, ceremony, and family events brought this wonderful structure to life. Opened in the 1930s on Kings' Parade, Bathurst’s carillon is the centerpiece of the city and one of only three carillons in Australia – the other two are at Sydney University in Sydney and Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

Bells Toll in Honor of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

As the longest-serving royal consort in British history, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, provided vital, continuous support to Her Majesty The Queen and the Commonwealth for almost three quarters of a century. His passing at age 99 punctuates a life lived in service to the Crown and the entire United Kingdom.

Bells to Half-Muffle in Tribute to Americans Lost to COVID-19

Today, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation directing the flag of the United States to be flown at half-staff in remembrance of the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from the virus COVID-19. As flags are lowered, he will be joined at sunset by the First Lady, the Vice President, and the Second Gentleman for a moment of silence at the White House. Flags are to remain at half-staff until sunset on February 26, 2021.

President-Elect Biden Calls on Bells to Ring

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) planning the events and activities surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has invited bells and bell towers across the nation to ring out together on January 19, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

That’s a Wrap!

The second annual National Bell Festival is concluded and we couldn’t be more excited by all we accomplished this last year. Even in the face of a pandemic, our intrepid Bell Raisers and festivalgoers came together (safely, of course) to ring in the New Year like never before. Throughout the day, we brought the community together around free and digitally-streamed events, activities, and concerts – and of course, our much-anticipated citywide ringing had the skies over Washington trembling with the resounding tolls of bells.
 

Washington National Cathedral Announces New Year's Day Carillon Recital

New Year's Day has traditionally been celebrated at Washington National Cathedral with change ringing by the Washington Ringing Society on the Cathedral’s 10-bell peal. That occasion has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cathedral carillonneur Edward M. Nassor continues the bell-ringing tradition by playing a recital on the Cathedral’s 53-bell carillon.

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