Time's up! Cheers all round for Big Ben's farewell bong

Posted August 22, 2017

The Great Bell chimes at noon today and - apart from special occasions such as Remembrance Sunday and New Year - will then not sound again for four years while maintenance takes place.

This afternoon, British Parliament members gathered together in order to hear the last chime, several of whom argued during a Parliament discussion that four years is too long.

St Marys Church in Banbury have made a recording of their own bells and uploaded it on to the website Soundcloud for anyone who may miss the ringing in their ears. "Protecting workers" hearing is far from "health and safety gone mad'".

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Daily Mail: "I think Big Ben ought to be kept striking as much as possible during the repairs as long as it doesn't deafen the work force".

Big Ben falls silent for repairs.

A spokesman at the parliament said: "Big Ben's bongs are an integral part of parliamentary life and we will ensure that they can resume their role as the nation's timekeeper as soon as possible".

For millions of tourists Big Ben is probably the most famous landmark in Britain's capital.

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Tory MPs have called for Big Ben to ring out when we leave the European Union in 2019.

The media interest in Big Ben's four-year silence is a strong indicator of its importance.

Speaking on the roof of Parliament overlooking Elizabeth Tower, he said: 'We are going to look at the colour scheme around the clock faces. When the last bong sounded from Big Ben, hundreds of parliamentary officials gathered around the tower.

They have dismissed suggestions the chimes could be restored during the hours that work is not being carried out, as the process takes about half a day to complete.

The London landmark, which sits on the northern end of Britain's Houses of Parliament in the heart of the United Kingdom capital, is one of the most recognisable symbols of the country and news that its bell would not sound for years elicited a wide variety of responses - some more melancholy than others. The upcoming fix on the 158-year-old timepiece is not just a simple case of winding up, but rather requires a great amount of work.

The huge clock, which has run nearly uninterrupted since 1859, will be stopped for several months so that Parliament's clockmakers can work on the spring that holds the 13ft (4m) pendulum and remove the hands from each of the four faces.

She hoped a House of Commons commission would "look into this urgently so that we can ensure that we can continue to hear Big Ben through those four years".