Bye Bye, Big Ben

Guy Parsons Guy Parsons

Big Ben Repairs

Big Ben (and I know that’s the technically the name of the bell, but come on now) is about to disappear from the London skyline.

The Elizabeth Tower (which, again, nobody actually calls it) isn’t being taken down, but the iconic clock faces will soon be covered in scaffolding and tarpaulin for several months. It’s part of a three-year renovation scheme, which will also mean his famous ‘bongs’ fall silent.

Scaffolding already covers some of the Houses of Parliament, while other coverings are now rising from the base of the tower itself.

It’s really happening, people:

A post shared by R E N E E (@reneedees) on

The renovators say:

To ensure that the UK’s most famous clock continues to keep time, specialist teams carry out regular maintenance and adjustments to the Great Clock. However, it has now been over 31 years since the last extensive works were carried out to maintain the Elizabeth Tower. Problems have been identified with the clock hands, mechanism and pendulum, which need to be dealt with immediately to ensure that the clock can continue to work properly.

So for the rest of 2017 there’ll be less of this:

Big Ben
Photo: juancolado3

None of this:

Big Ben Snow London
Photo: Gonzalo Díaz Fornaro

Sadly, not this:

Big Ben Photo sunset
Photo: @6stops

And not this:

Big Ben from Westminster Bridge
Photo: Richard Lock

Merely a stream of tourists even more disappointed than this guy:

2017-07-09 15_05_19

All in all, it’s another one more massive bell end in Westminster, but works should be complete by the end of the year. See you on the other side, big guy!

Leicester Square’s signs may have gone dark too, but it’s OK: check out our alternative guide to sightseeing in London.

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