London 2012: Bell produced by Whitechapel Bell Foundry to start Games’ opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games will begin with the ringing of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world - made by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

The ceremony, titled Isles of Wonder and inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, will involve 10,000 adult volunteer performers and 900 children.

The ceremony will open with the ringing of the bell produced by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which measures two metres tall by three metres wide and weighs 23 tonnes.

During the ceremony, which is titled Isles of Wonder, volunteer performers from the NHS will take part in a special sequence celebrating Britain’s health service.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today announced that the field of play in the Olympic Stadium will be transformed into the rolling British countryside for the opening show.


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Work has started on installing the set for the opening scene, called Green and Pleasant.

The set will include meadows, fields and rivers, and feature families taking picnics, sport being played on the village green and farmers tilling the soil whilst real farmyard animals graze – including 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep, and three sheep dogs.

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Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower – the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland.

At 3 Mills Studios in Tower Hamlets, the production base for the London 2012 Ceremonies Team, work is being completed on 12,956 props. Staff in the costume department are producing 23,000 costumes for all four ceremonies, including sewing 24,570 buttons onto the costumes for one of the opening sequences of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

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