Skip to comments.Britain's Big Ben to fall silent for four years
Posted on 08/14/2017 6:27:33 AM PDT by Red Badger
Britain's much-loved Big Ben will fall silent for four years from next week as conservation work is carried out on the famous 19th century bell in a clock tower next to the Houses of Parliament.
"Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project," Steve Jaggs, whose official title is "Keeper of the Great Clock", said in a parliament statement on Monday.
"This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home -- the Elizabeth Tower," he said.
It will be the longest period that Big Ben, whose bongs are familiar to many people around the world because of their use in BBC radio and television broadcasts, has been silent in its 157-year history.
The Great Bell, popularly called Big Ben, weighs 13.7 tonnes and strikes every hour to the note of E. Four smaller bells also chime every 15 minutes.
The last bong before the refurbishment will be at 12 pm (1100 GMT) on August 21, the statement said.
The clock will still tell the time silently until 2021 and the chimes will continue to be rung on important occasions such as New Year's Eve.
The Elizabeth Tower, which is 96 metres (315 feet) high, is the most photographed building in Britain.
The tower itself is commonly referred to as Big Ben even though the name applies only to the bell.
The clock's cogs and hands as well as the four dials will be removed, cleaned up and repaired as part of the work.
The project's cost was estimated last year at £29 million (31.9 million euros, $37.7 million).
Because the clock mechanism will be temporarily out of action, a modern electric motor will drive the clock hands until the clock is reinstated.
Parliament also said that the clock's faces would have to be covered up while they are being repaired.
"However, to ensure that the public are still able to set their watches by this most important of time pieces, one working clock face will remain visible at all times throughout the works," it said.
It can be replaced with loudspeakers issuing the five-times-daily call to prayer.
A 4 year hiatus on Bongs for Merry Ole England?
Four years to fix a clock? We won World War two in four years. On two continents at the same time. Maybe the Brits should forego tea time and get this thing wrapped up.
Great Britain’s most iconic symbol.
No it can’t! PHOOEY!!!!
"...call to prayer..."
That is probably what they are really doing.
Gawd, what an awful thought.
You beat me to it.
That's what happens when government does the job.
They should contact one of the Trump companies. The job would be done in half the time and at half the cost!
Great Britains most ironic symbol..................Their time is running out...............
When it starts up again it will be issuing muzzy calls to prayer starting at 4 AM.
It will take that long to do the work?
A truly fitting metaphor for a once proud country that has lost it’s way and future is doomed.
Great Book Title. Bet someone steals it.
No, it’ll take that long to do the Environmental Impact Study............
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