Chimes of Big Ben ring out in Westminster for the first time in months

The chimes of Big Ben rang out around Westminster for the first time in almost three months today - but people were advised not to set their watches by its famous bongs.

When Big Ben was silenced on August 21 for maintenance works lasting four years on the Elizabeth Tower, it was made clear it would be restarted for important national events - writes standard.co.uk.

Today the chimes resumed at 9am ahead of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday events this weekend.

But Parliamentary authorities were expecting “slight inaccuracies” following its 11-week break.

Palace of Westminster clockmakers were working through the day adjusting the bells to ensure they strike at exactly the right time for Armistice Day commemorations at the 11th hour of November 11 on Satuday, followed by Remembrance Sunday events the following day.

The bells will be disconnected after ringing the hour at 1pm on Sunday.

Its chimes are then due to resume on December 23 for the Christmas period, falling silent again at 1pm on January 1.

The decision to silence the bell, which continued to chime accurately even during the intense bombing of the Blitz, sparked a fierce backlash.

Parliamentary officials said the hearing of engineers working on the restoration would be put “at serious risk” if the massive 13.7-tonne bell continuing ringing while they were working.

But critics branded the four-year closure plan as “ridiculous” and asked why the bell couldn’t ring out from 5pm to 7am when building work had finished for the day.

The Elizabeth Tower, which holds the famous bell, is surrounded by scaffolding, but at least one clock face will always be kept visible while repair work and maintenance is carried out on dials and hands of the others.

Read more news of London on our site.

standard.co.uk
BigBen Chimes Westminster
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