Friday, November 17The Voice of London

Big Ben is back!

This Saturday London will get to hear again the bongs of Big Ben.

Big Ben under maintenance

After nearly three months of silence, London will hear the bells of Big Ben ring once again ahead of Armistice Day.

When it was silenced on August 21st for maintenance work, it was made clear that it would be restarted for important events. 

After the resumption of chimes at 9am, the Palace of Westminster clockmakers will work through the day to ensure that the bell strikes at exactly the right time for Armistice Day commemorations at the 11th hour of 11th month and the next day for Remembrance Sunday.

However people have been told to not set their watches according to the time shown on the clock face or the bongs as authorities expect “slight inaccuracies”, after all it has had an 11 week holiday. 

The bell will be disconnected again after ringing at 1pm on November 12th. 

The next ring is expected on December 23rd for the Christmas period up until January 1st, until 1 pm.

According to reports in the Sunday Telegraph, authorities are not allowing the clock to chime during weekends and in the evenings – to avoid mechanics working overtime. Moreover, it is believed that the hearing of the engineers working could be put at “serious risk”, if the clock rings during the hours.

This decision has received criticism and was questioned as to why it couldn’t ring when workers were off-duty or finished their work in the evening.

While the Elizabeth Tower, holding the famous bell, is covered with scaffolding for maintenance and repair work, it is being made sure that at least one clock face is always visible.

In August, a crowd of nearly 1000 people gathered from around the UK and Europe to hear the last bong of the famous clock.

The Voice of London News will be there to hear the first chimes of Big Ben since it closed for repair, are you?

Words: Bishakha Dutta | Subbed: Joshua Hornsey

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