DE RIJP – On Saturday April 1, 2017, the first bell for the new carillon of De Rijp's Grote Kerk (Noord-Holland) was cast that took place in the open air near the church. To make this possible, the bell-founder Simon Laudy had built a furnace on the spot. One day later, this first and largest bell could be broken out of the mould. The bell is a gift from the municipality of Alkmaar and it bears the coat of arms of Alkmaar.
The Carillon Foundation De Rijp has been working for more than three years to prepare for this new carillon, which will include 47 bells. The cost of casting and installing the new instrument amounts to a total of € 215,000.-. This project also provides safer access to the tower and makes some adjustments to the swinging bells. In addition, the historic tower structure is being restored. To enable the financing, various funds and companies have been enrolled and support has been promised by the municipality.
Prior to the casting, there were speeches by Chairman Fred Hoek and Secretary Fré Harmsen of the foundation. On behalf of the city, councillor Anjo van de Ven was present. She started the casting of the bell at 21:30, after which bell-founder Simon Laudy took over.
Particularly interesting was the speech by Alkmaar's city carillonneur Christiaan Winter, who explained the emergence of carillon culture in the Low Countries to the numerous public in the Grote Kerk. He will be the regular carillonneur of the instrument when it is commissioned in December 2017.
The tower of the Grote Kerk had previously housed a carillon. However, the bells were lost during a massive fire in 1654 that began in a hemp mill. Most of the village burned down and only the church from 1529 and the town hall from 1630 remained. When in 2014 the municipalities of Schermer, Graft-De Rijp and Alkmaar merged, Christiaan Winter suggested placing a new carillon in the Grote Kerk at De Rijp.