Bells ring out for town scouts as they scoop first prize in contest
TROOP WINS DESIGN CONTEST
A SCOUTS troop is celebrating after being crowned the winner of a competition run by Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust.
The 3rd Loughborough Scout Troop won the Design a Bellfoundry contest, which saw schools and youth groups take part during lockdown.
It involved the groups getting a cardboard playhouse and creating their own bellfoundry, with much design and imagination going into the schemes.
The 3rd Loughborough Scout Troop, which consisted of 10 children aged 10 to 14, entered a 5ft model of the bellfoundry complete with a belltower, sign and painted brickwork detail.
Windows revealed the bellfoundry.
The Scout group also submitted a video showing them creating their entry.
The competition was run as part of the trust’s outreach programme, which aims to engage schools and community groups with the daily life the inside of of the historic bellfoundry. The judges said they were impressed with the creativity and collaborative efforts shown by all the entrants.
After being closed or running restricted visits for over a year, the historic Victorian-era Loughborough Bellfoundry Museum reopened to the public in July, having received funding from the National Lottery’s Heritage Emergency Fund, with new activities and displays introduced for families.
Since the grade II*-listed bellfoundry began its operations in 1859, it has crafted, tuned and repaired thousands of bells for churches, cathedrals, ships and belltowers all over the world.
It is now the UK’s last remaining major bellfoundry.
The museum is owned and operated by the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust – a charitable incorporated organisation set up to repair, protect and conserve the historic buildings so that the ancient art of bellfounding can continue.
Chrissie van Mierlo, museum director at the trust, said: “Following an exceptionally difficult time for heritage venues over the past 18 months, we are thrilled to be able to continue engaging with communities in the area as we strive to showcase the history and importance of the bellfoundry.
“The heritage that is entrenched within the wonderful buildings here must be preserved. The art of bellmaking is a fascinating craft and one that we hope to bring to a wider audience.
“All the competition received were fantastic.
“It was great to have so many youngsters from the community taking part in learning about the bellfoundry and producing their own ideas for the museum.
“The 3rd Loughborough Scouts were very worthy winners. It was wonderful to see the time and effort put into their entry.”
To mark their win, the Scouts were invited to visit the bellfoundry and take part in the activities available.
These include brass rubbing, bell moulding and chiming the bells with a mallet, like the professional bellmakers in the foundry.
Heritage engagement officer Hayley Simons said: “The scouts told us they had such fun making their bellfoundry, so it was a double bonus to win the competition.
“On arrival at the museum, they were treated to a full educational tour of the bellfoundry and each one left with a smile on their face.” entries