Londoners, the time has come when “Bong, bongggg, bonnnng”, will be no more. The world’s most famous clock/bell/tower will fall silent as part of a three-year programme of essential works on the Palace of Westminster. Due to the nature of repairs, the clock will have to be stopped, although officials have not said for how much of the three-year programme this will be necessary. They are, however, vital in order to prevent it from breaking down altogether. During the £29 million repair and investment programme, scaffolding will be erected around the 96-metres tall Grade I listed Elizabeth Tower, though at least one clock face will be on show at all times.
The Great Clock, designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, was first installed in the Clock Tower in April 1859. But now, after more than 157 years of nearly unbroken service, parts of the clock have become worn and need repairing. It is suffering from serious condensation, leading to problems with damp, cracked plasterwork and rust. The clock, meanwhile, has become worn and concerns include the pendulum’s accuracy and the suspension spring which holds the pendulum in place. A lift will also be installed in one of the existing ventilation shafts which will allow some disabled people to go up the tower and to evacuate an injured person in an emergency.The last major repairs were carried out on Big Ben more than 30 years ago from 1983-1985.
If you’re feeling sad about it like we are, here’s a link to its Twitter account which will undoubtedly cheer you up. We wonder if it will stop tweeting too…
Featured Image Credit: Yahoo