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Big Ben Revealed For First Time Since 2017

Anish Vij

Published 
| Last updated 

Big Ben Revealed For First Time Since 2017

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Although our New Year's Eve plans might be up in the air, London's Big Ben has made its return and will treat us to its iconic big bong sound at midnight.

Since its restoration process began four years ago in 2017, up until today, the Big Ben clock has been silent in a conservation project, which has cost a whopping £79.7 million.

Incredibly, the only other time the clock was silent was for two years between 1983 and 1985.

The idea was to restore its original watercolour clock design by Charles Barry and now, a Prussian blue and gold combo has been recreated via paint analysis.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

According to The Guardian, the team are hoping that New Year's Eve will be the last time Big Ben will use a temporary striking mechanism.

The four quarter bells will chime hourly to the note of E natural in the spring.

The tall clock tower has been damaged throughout the years, largely from pollution and WWII bombings.

As one might expect, there were some hurdles to overcome to get things up to scratch and an additional £18.6 million was added to the bill in 2020.

Ian Westworth, a parliamentary clock mechanic, said it had been a huge privilege to have 'had our hands on every single nut and bolt' of one of the world’s most famous clocks.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

“It’s going to be quite emotional when it’s all over – there will be sadness that the project has finished, but happiness that we have got it back and everything’s up and running again,” he said.

Some will be glad to hear the chimes again as London's New Year celebrations will be broadcast.

The event had previously been cancelled but a firework celebration will be held with being asked to stay at home and watch it on TV.

The London Mayor previously said: "This year, as well as a brand-new celebration event in Trafalgar Square, we can look forward to a live broadcast spectacular which will showcase our magnificent city on BBC One.

"London is simply magical during these winter months and after all we have endured as a city we have every reason to celebrate as we look ahead to the new year."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He added: "The Covid-19 pandemic has meant we are not able to put on our world-famous public event on the banks of the Thames this year, but it's important we reflect on and pay tribute to the defining moments of the year and look to 2021 with hope, and that's why we are replacing it with a unique broadcast on BBC One.

"We know that New Year's Eve is traditionally an opportunity to show off our great city to the rest of the world, which we will still be doing this year in a show you'll only be able to watch from home, on the BBC. 

"It will be a celebration of hope, but also provide a moment of reflection on the challenges of this year and the way Londoners pulled together."

Topics: London, UK News

Anish Vij
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