Big Ben bongs sound for final time for four years
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 21
The bongs of Big Ben have sounded for the final time before they are silenced for a four-year period of restoration work on the Elizabeth Tower, the Guardian reported Aug. 21.
The tower is undergoing a £29m programme of renovation until 2021, but the prime minister and several MPs have raised concerns over the plan to silence the bell.
House of Commons authorities said workers would not be able to operate safely next to the ringing of the 13-tonne bell. But it will still sound for events such as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.
The Commons commission said it will review the timescale after complaints were raised, including by Theresa May, who said it “cannot be right” for the bells not to chime regularly for four years.
A handful of MPs gathered by the members’ entrance to the Houses of Parliament on Monday to mark the occasion of the bell’s final chimes.