The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is Britain’s oldest manufacturing company and has the prestigious job of making the pageant bells for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as well as the bell for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

The foundry was established in 1570, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and has been making bells ever since. The list of famous bells made by the company includes the Liberty BellBig Ben and, more recently, a bell for a church on Wall Street to commemorate the September 11 victims.

On 3 June, during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession on the Thames, a 500-tonne barge containing senior members of the Royal Family will lead the largest gathering of boats on the Thames for more than 350 years. The barge will also have a special tower holding eight church bells from Whitechapel Bell Foundry and eight bell-ringers.