Time out for Big Ben
The most famous clock tower in Britain to have 29 million pound makeover
After a century and a half of almost unbroken service, London’s Big Ben is in urgent need of a service.
The Elizabeth tower that houses Big Ben will also be repaired in a three-year project that starts next year.
Steve Jaggs, Keeper of the Clock, said: “This project will enable us to give one of Britain’s most famous landmarks the TLC it so desperately needs and deserves.”
Parts of the Great Clock have become very worn and now need investigation and, of course, servicing can’t be done while the clock is in operation. Experts hope that there will always be one dial working.
Rain can also creep in through the gap between the panes of glass, which make up the clock face. Stonework has also be damaged by the weather
The ‘down time’ for the clock will be kept to a minimum and the bells will still be rung for big events such as Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve.
It’s rumored that Big Ben’s original grey colour might be changed to green or a gold or go back to the 1980s when it was black and gold!
“It’s been running 24/7,” says Paul Roberson, one of the clockmakers at the Palace of Westminster. “You wouldn’t run a motor 24/7 for 150 years without maintaining it.”
Jack, Year 5