Iconic ‘Big Ben’ in London, would go silent from Monday i.e 21st July 2017 until 2021 for restoration. The bongs will sound for the final time at midday on Monday before being disconnected to allow the clock and surrounding tower to be restored.
Parliamentary authorities said stopping Big Ben – the commonly used name for the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower – would protect workers carrying out the repairs. It will still sound for important events including New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.
The clock’s keeper, Steve Jaggs, said Big Ben falling silent was a “significant milestone” in the project to restore the tower. “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 added.
During the repair work, an electric motor will drive the clock hands until the main mechanism has been restored, so it will continue to tell the time. However, the faces will need to be temporarily covered while the clock is undergoing maintenance.
The renovation work will also provide, the tower with a lift installed in one of the Tower’s internal shafts and it’s first toilet.
Some of the less known interesting facts of the Big Ben:
- Big Ben is actually the name of the bell, not the clock tower. It’s chime is in the key of E. Ding dong.
- Every hour it strikes an E note, and every 15 minutes four “quarter bells” chime.
- Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world.
- At the base of each clock face is a Latin inscription, in gilt letters. It reads –
“Domine salvam fac Reginam nostrum Victoriam Primam”
“O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First”
You gotta a few days to visit the Big Ben and hear it’s glory, before the silence prevails for a period of 4 years.