A Scottish foundry has been given a key role in the restoration of Big Ben. Ballantine Castings, which is based in Bo’ness, West Lothian, is creating thousands of cast iron tiles to adorn the roof of the Elizabeth Tower, the structure that encases Britain’s most famous clock.
The West Lothian factory, which almost closed four years ago is also casting hundreds of tonnes of iron tiles to replace decaying tiles on the roof of the Palace of Westminster.
The work by the 200-year old foundry involves making exact copies of the originals and is set to take several years to finish. Speaking to the Herald, Ballantine Castings Director, Gavin Ballantine said: “Everyone knows Big Ben, and it is one of the most photographed structures in the world.
“We are working with a conservation contractor, we’re not doing any installation. All the tiles are different sizes, we have to take originals from site, bring them here, hand carve the moulds and then make the castings. We are just glad to play our part.”