Commuters with their eyes peeled would have spotted a collection of keen campanologists on the South Bank this morning as the National Theatre joined in Martin Creed’s All The Bells celebration.
The work by the artist and musician, the full title of which is Work No. 1197: All The Bells In A Country Rung As Quickly And As Loudly As Possible For Three Minutes, did exactly what its name suggested, as across the UK bells of all shapes and sizes were shaken, rattled and waved vigorously between 08:12 and 08:15 to welcome the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The National Theatre whipped the half tonne bell used in Danny Boyle’s recent award-winning production of Frankenstein out of storage for the hundreds of excited bell ringers to cajole a clang from. The bronze instrument was made by Britain’s oldest bell manufacturers, The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, in 1872.
Councillor Sally Prentice, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & the Olympics, began the chimes on the dot of 08:12, with the venue’s Director Nicholas Hytner joining in with his own, slightly smaller, bell. Across the capital, at Big Ben and on HMS Belfast in particular, more ringers joined in.
So did Official London Theatre, as you can see from our video and images.