Big Ben is falling silent for a whole four years starting next week.
We told you this day would soon be with us – and here it is. At midday on Monday, August 21st, the Great Bell will ‘bong bong bong bong bong bong bong bong bong bong bong bong’ for the last time, before falling silent until 2021.
The reason? Extensive repair work is set to be carried out to the entire tower, including the clock mechanism itself. Engineers will be refurbishing every last hammer, cog, and leaver, removing the glass facades of each clock face and refurbish the hands. On top of that, they’ll be installing an elevator, and making repairs to the internal structure. The enormous clanging of bells is thought to be a bit off-putting to the hard working folks getting all this done. Seems reasonable.
A fun fact – due to gradual subsidence under the tower, Big Ben has also become properly wonky with the top of the tower is now 1-½ ft away from vertical. Apparently that’s no big deal, and it’ll take 4,000 years for the lean to reach Leaning Tower of Pisa levels.
In any case, hardcore London nerds are invited to Parliament Square to hear the last of the chimes next Monday. And for the next four years, please help your fellow Londoners stay on schedule by loudly screaming out the time on the hour every hour. Thanks!