Big Ben to bong again but public warned not to set their watches by it
Parliamentary authorities expect “slight inaccuracies” following its 11-week break.
The chimes of Big Ben will be heard for the first time in almost three months when Parliament’s historic bell is reconnected on November 9, ahead of Armistice Day.
But people in the Westminster area are advised not to set their watches by the famous bongs that day, as parliamentary authorities expect “slight inaccuracies” following its 11-week break.
After the resumption of chimes at 9am, Palace of Westminster clockmakers will work through the day adjusting the bells to ensure that they strike at exactly the right time for Armistice Day commemorations at the 11th hour of November 11, followed by Remembrance Sunday events the following day.
60 of my colleagues and I have launched an Early Day Motion to strip Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd of the Big Ben repairs contract. Here's why: pic.twitter.com/iAao15j2hP— Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna) October 16, 2017
The bells will be disconnected after ringing the hour at 1pm on Sunday November 12.
When Big Ben was halted on August 21 for conservation works lasting four years on the Elizabeth Tower, it was made clear it would be restarted for important national events.
Its chimes are then due to resume on December 23 for the Christmas period, falling silent again at 1pm on January 1.
Conservation work will cease for the holidays, meaning that there is no threat to workers’ hearing from the volume of the bongs.
On other occasions when the chimes restart, work will be confined to lower, and quieter, levels of the tower.
Scaffolding around the Elizabeth Tower is expected to reach the belfry by the end of this month, after which only one clock face will be visible at any time, while repair work and maintenance is carried out on dials and hands of the others.