Hells bells! Big Ben is going to be silent for four months!

@garymarsh6 (14430)
United Kingdom
October 18, 2015 1:59pm CST
It has been announced that repair work is needed to what most would call Big Ben tower although its official name is now Elizabeth tower named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond jubliee. It can be found at the houses of parliament. The arms of the clock need replacing and other pieces of work to keep the tower in good condition. Cracks have been found in the tower. This is the third tower to have been built the first built in the 1200's fell down the second was burnt down in a fire and this final tower is what we see today. Big Ben is actually the Bell that chimes on the hour and is used by the BBC to announce the time on the hour. It weights in at around 13 and a half tons. It was cast at the whitechapel bell foundry in 1858 and took four days to cool down after being cast. Its height is 7 feet six inches high. Big Ben can be heard around the area of Westminster and the chimes are known as the westminster chimes. It sounds quite loud when you are near the houses of parliament and it has been said to have been heard as far away as Windsor. It depends on wind conditions as to how far the sound travels. This is part of our English and British heritage and known throughout the world so there is no option but to repair the tower so that Big Ben can continue to mark the hours and quarter hours. The photo is of Elizabeth tower otherwise known as Big Ben.
20 people like this
20 responses
@DeborahDiane (23809)
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Oct 15
I have seen and heard Big Ben when my husband and I took a trip to London about 20 years ago. I am so glad that it was not turned off while I was there!
3 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
OH yes what a disappointment that would have been!
1 person likes this
@amadeo (73344)
• United States
18 Oct 15
How does one change the name of Big Ben after all these years. thank you for the information here.
3 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
I think it will always be known as Big Ben. Sorry to HM.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (39670)
• United States
18 Oct 15
Wow it will surely seem a little different in London without Big Ben.
3 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
Hopefully it will only be temporary! It will seem strange on Armistice day when it won't chime at 11 to mark the two minutes silence when the Queen lays a wreath at the cenotaph! It will be very odd indeed.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48224)
• Manchester, England
18 Oct 15
Without the sound of the bell to keep you informed of the each passing hour, it is going to be difficult to know when the 4 months is up. I wonder how many people will use the silence as an excuse for being late for work? It would have been more convenient if they had chosen summer to do the work because at least you could have fitted a sundial in the garden.
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
At one point they actually fitted a sundial to the tower when there were no bells! Sundial in the garden WHAT in our dismal climate. This is not SA or OZ you know! Does the sun ever reach further north than Watford?
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48224)
• Manchester, England
18 Oct 15
@garymarsh6 I have no idea abut either Watford or the region slightly North of there, but up here in Manchester we use online webcams to see what the Sun is like.
2 people like this
@Asylum (48224)
• Manchester, England
18 Oct 15
@garymarsh6 Many houses up here have tall narrow glass tubes attached to the side of the wall and marked off in notches so that we can tell the time by how much rain has fallen so far. When the level reaches 24 hours the weight releases the valve and empties the tube to start a new day. Of course these are not always accurate because if we have a hot summer and drought they can lose up to 5 minutes per hour.
2 people like this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
It will be very odd without the chimes!
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
Thankfully it will only be for four months. If they do not do it now and it breaks it could take over a year to repair it.
@owlwings (39760)
• Cambridge, England
18 Oct 15
It's happened before and - guess what - the BBC simply play a recording, so we shall still hear them all over the world!
2 people like this
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
18 Oct 15
So are they BBC going to use a recording or will we be Bongless?
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
I am sure they have a recording or two. I love the word. Bongless! What a word! I wonder what they will do to end the two minute silence on Remembrance Sunday? the last time it happened was about 30 years ago we were obviously far too young to remember that!
1 person likes this
@glenniah (1201)
• Mandurah, Australia
19 Oct 15
I can't even imagine Big Ben's chimes being turned off.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
19 Oct 15
I know it will be very odd!
@ptrikha_2 (10266)
• India
19 Oct 15
I think people will miss this monument for those four months. I did watch it quite closely when I was in London in late 2005.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
19 Oct 15
I hope you have some wonderful memories from your visit.
@SIMPLYD (83191)
• Philippines
19 Oct 15
It's the most famous landmark there , right ? We have known that in our social studies before and of course in the news . You will miss its bell chiming.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
19 Oct 15
It will only be temporary thankfully!
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (26219)
• United States
18 Oct 15
Amazing that it has been around so long.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
19 Oct 15
Yes there are so many old things here in the UK Koalemos is a prime example! Ancient beyond stoneage man! @Tampa_girl7
@Dragonairy1 (1413)
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
18 Oct 15
It will have to be fixed, but I saw somewhere it was estimated at 40 million pound, which is a lot of money. Maybe the mps cold have a whip round towards it it's partly their tower
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
Yes I am sure if they gave up their pensions and subsidised restaurants us plebs do not receive and their over the top expenses it would pay for it in no time!
• United States
18 Oct 15
I like Big Ben better, shouldn't mess with the name...but I had no say in the matter!
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
I don't think people even called it St.Stephens tower before the recent name change. It has always been known as BIG BEN!
2 people like this
@MALUSE (43627)
• Uzbekistan
18 Oct 15
I'm sure the name Elizabeth Tower will never catch.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14430)
• United Kingdom
18 Oct 15
I think you are right there. Before that it was supposed to be named St. Stephens tower but everyone still seems to call it BIG BEN!
@bluesa (15115)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
21 Oct 15
It will surely be strange to have it silent for those who are close to it and used to its reminder of time. I am just so used to thinking of it as Big Ben, not certain the fact it is now named after Queen Elizabeth will ever totally sink in with me.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (85144)
• United States
20 Oct 15
Glad I did my listening to it already. Lol!
1 person likes this
@marlina (78025)
• Canada
19 Oct 15
I like the Big Ben name better.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176770)
• Switzerland
19 Oct 15
Hmm there is no two without three! Let's hope they can fix the tower, I was reading this morning about this problem.
1 person likes this
19 Oct 15
Very interesting. I had no idea it was to be repaired.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (69983)
• Roseburg, Oregon
21 Oct 15
That will be sad that it will be turned off. But it needs to be fixed. Soon you will hear it again.
• United States
21 Oct 15
I heard about this. I have a chiming clock in my living room, have had for forty years. I would miss it.