London’s iconic Big Ben clock is now going to undergo major replenishment and will be silenced for several months in 2017. It’s not the first time that the clock will be silenced but it’s the first time when Big Ben will have some major repairing. After tirelessly serving for more than 157 years, it;s time that the clock needs some rest and good care. Why is the Big Ben suddenly in need of a strong makeover?
It’s been reported that the pendulum’s accuracy is being hindered and the suspension spring that holds the pendulum needs to be replaced. Some other work that needs to be done are the repairs to the Elizabeth Tower’s water-damaged masonry and iron work. The clock could undergo a change in the appearance. it’s been said that the black-and-gold paint applied in the ’80s will be swapped with the green and gold thought to be original.
The project costs £29 million and is scheduled to start from next year. The event of Big Ben not working may seem no less than a surprise or awe, but in the past there have been several incidents when the clock had been silenced deliberately and stopped accidentally.
World War I
In order to avoid attention from German attackers, the clock faces were kept dark for two years and bells were also silenced.
World War II
During World War II, the clock faces were darkened but bells were bonged on. There were some bomb damage in 1941 to two of the dials sections of the tower’s roof. There was some bomb damage in 1941 to two of the dials and sections of the tower’s roof. The clock was deliberately stopped for 12 hours in June 1941.
A flock of starlings perched on the minute hand and slowed the clock by four and a half minutes. Yes, really.
New Year’s Eve, 1962
The first bong of the new year got ten minutes late, thanks to the heavy snow and ice accumulation on the long hands.
Winston Churchill’s funeral
The bells were silenced during Churchill’s funeral in January 1965. Fair enough, really.
Major meltdown, 1976
The chiming mechanism in 1976, broke from ‘torsional fatigue’. It shut the clock down for 26 days over nine months.
In 2005, temperatures had rose 31C in May, and the clock stopped just after 10pm.
Margaret Thatcher’s funeral
On April 17, 2013, as a mark of ‘profound dignity and deep respect’ for the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.