Published on : Monday, August 21, 2017
For the next four years, they would be silenced completely owing to a four-year period on account of restoration work on the Elizabeth Tower. Currently, the tower is undergoing a renovation program of £29 million that would be finally completed in the year 2021.
However, the prime minister and many other MPs have raised serious concerns over plans to silence this bell.
The authorities of the House of Commons have said that the workers would not be able to work safely close to the ringing of the 13-tonne, giant bell that continue to sound on important national events like Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve. The Commons commission has said that it would be reviewing the timescale after certain complaints have been raised regarding the decision to cease the ringing of the historic bell.
Theresa May, who has served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said that the decision ‘cannot be right’.
Many MPs had gathered to mark this occasion, before the final chime of the bell at noon on Monday. Peter Bone, Andrew Brigden and Jacob Rees-Mogg who are the three Eurosceptic Conservative MPs have also urged the bongs to ring at midnight after the UK quit the European Union on 29th March, 2019.
Members of the public had also assembled in Parliament Square to watch the last bongs.
But then, a major portion of the Elizabeth Tower is already covered in scaffolding.
The Great Bell that is the official name for Big Ben, as per tradition rings every hour to the note of E, and then, four quarter bells chime every 15 minutes. The bell had fallen silent during maintenance in 2007 and also between 1983 and 1985.
The clock would be dismantled piece by piece.
Each of its cogs would be examined and then restored. The glass would be repaired and the hands removed and refurbished. But even though the clock’s mechanism would be dismantled, one of the clock faces would continue to operate through a temporary modern electric system via scaffolding.
Health and safety advisers have supported the decision to silence the bell.