Scaffolding Smashes Into Big Ben Just Days After £80 Million Makeover Was Revealed
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This is the moment a huge metal girder collided with the side of the newly renovated Big Ben in London:
Passerby Sarah Haynes shot the eye-opening moment of impact on her smartphone on 2 April, which shows the pristine clock tower being struck by the piece of scaffolding amid strong winds in Central London.
“We could see they were trying to remove this massive piece of scaffolding. [It] kept hitting the building which has just been renovated for millions," she claimed.
"It hit the tower and we didn’t see anything fall but it made quite a thump.”
The new clock tower, in all of its golden glory, was only revealed to the public last month following five years of restoration work.
With the cost of the improvements ballooning from an expected £26 million to a staggering £80 million, as reported by The Express, the project has received widespread criticism from many quarters.
Therefore, it's not exactly a good look for the newly-renovated Big Ben to be struck by a metal girder that could require additional repair work.
While no visible damage can be seen in the video, it was a rather violent impact, assumed to have been caused by the unseasonably high winds the UK has endured over the past week or so.
“We were in London for a weekend away and visited the Houses of Parliament for a tour," Haynes added.
“As we were leaving out of the entrance, we could see all of the builders looking up and the odd workman running around looking frantic.
“There was a man in a cherry picker which was as high as they could get it and he was leaning over the edge pushing it away from the building.
“It kept looking like it was going to hit the building again but he was quite good at pushing it away.
“It’s been tarted up for years and has been revealed just in time for the Platinum Jubilee and yet this bit of scaffolding kept hitting it on the way down."
With no reports of major repairs being required just yet, one can only hope the impact wasn't as damaging as many will have first feared.
The new Big Ben features an updated clock face with an all new blue hue, distinguishing it from its predecessor.
The bell itself had been silent for five years during the restoration work, but come 1 January 2023, it will ring in the new year once again.
For this year's New Years celebration, an artificial bell noise was produced as work on the tower reached its final stages.