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Big Ben comes back to life and rings in London Xmas holiday

Big BenFollowing a long shutdown, London’s iconic Big Ben clock was brought back to life in time to usher in the Christmas festive holiday. The familiar sound of Big Ben ringing out the hour was reincarnated on Saturday at 09:00 and will be heard throughout the holiday season.

The Keeper of the Great Clock is Steve Jaggs and he confirmed Big Ben would be chiming the hour every hour right until noon on New Year’s Day. He carried on by saying the clock’s chimes would be signalling the advent of the New Year in London and for television audiences throughout the UK.

Big Ben is the clock used to strike the hour while smaller bells signal the quarter hours. The clocks are housed in the 150-year-old Elizabeth Tower. The tower is 96 metres tall and sits at the north side of the Houses of Parliament.

The clocks were originally silenced back in August to allow restoration work to be carried out on the Elizabeth Tower. Fears about the loud sounds from the bells damaging the hearing of contractors prompted the action. Apart from on Remembrance Sunday, the bells have remained muted since.

The restoration work on the tower is scheduled to last for four years and includes installing a lift. Apart from on special occasions, the bells will be silent until the work is finished. The clocks themselves are scheduled for maintenance in 2018 and each of the four faces, their hands and the timing mechanisms will be given spruce ups.



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