Big Ben falls silent as some British MPs make noise

22 August, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Big Ben will chime for the last time at noon on Monday until the completion of the work on Elizabeth Tower in 2021

For millions of tourists Big Ben is probably the most famous landmark in Britain's capital.

Such was the "silent minute's" popularity in the war years that the BBC would play the chimes of Big Ben at 9pm on a Sunday to signal its beginning.

This is said to be the longest period that the clock will be silent ever since it started chiming in 1889, four years after the tower was installed.

It will be the longest period that Big Ben, whose bongs are familiar to many people around the world due to their use in BBC radio and television broadcasts, has been silent in its 157-year history. The tower is "even on HP Sauce bottles", she added, referring to the blue label on the condiment known as steak sauce in Canada and "brown sauce" in the United Kingdom.

He felt there must be a way to keep Big Ben bonging.

Thousands gathered near Westminster Palace at midday local time (11:00 GMT) on Monday to watch as the tower's bells rang out for one last time - even though it will still sound to mark events such as Christmas Day and Remembrance Day.

The announcement of the shutdown came from the Keeper of the Great Clock, a job title with a fairy tale quality unto itself.

Perry, who was project manager during the two-year renovation of the tower in 1983, said: "We didn't seem to have any issues with the ringing of the bells".

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"We need four years to do this?" he asked. Renovation work on the Elizabeth Tower isn't planned to be completed until 2021.

It has been argued that scaffolding and workers' hearing could be damaged if the bell continued to ring.

MPs on the three Commons committees that approved the work did not know about the four-year silence when the plans were signed off.

Huge crowds erupted into cheers and applause as Big Ben chimed for the final time in four years.

"In light of concerns expressed by a number of deputies, the committee of the House of Commons will re-evaluate the length of time for which the bells remain silent" to the resumption of parliament in September, according to the Parliament.

"Of course, any discussion will focus on undertaking the work efficiently, protecting the health and safety of those involved, and seeking to ensure resumption of normal service as soon as it is practicable", it says.

British officials decided it was be prudent to halt Big Ben's "bong" for now, as experts said it wouldn't be practical to halt the chimes for the work to be done each day.


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