Big Ben bongs to be silenced

The Elizabeth Tower which houses the Great Clock and the 'Big Ben' bell is seen above the Houses of Parliament in central London Britain

The hammers which have struck the 13.7 tonne bell every hour for most of the last 157 years will be locked and disconnected from the clock, although the bongs will still sound for important events such as New Year's Eve celebrations.

Parliament said it will review plans to silence the Great Bell for four years after Theresa May joined the backlash against the move but the bongs will still be halted after noon on Monday.

"We're going to be gathering outside the members' entrance, gazing up at this noble, glorious edifice, listening to the sounds rolling across Westminster, summoning true democrats to the Palace of Westminster".

Big Ben should bong Britain out of the European Union on the day of Brexit, Leave-backing Tory MPs have said.

He said: 'Why shouldn't there be a round the clock effort to get it done?

"Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project", Steve Jaggs, whose official title is "Keeper of the Great Clock", said in a parliament statement on Monday (Aug 14).

Members of Parliament claim they didn't know that the bell would be silent for four years when the signed off on the renovation work.

"When ... Big Ben bongs near you, you'll know it", said the Trades Union Congress, which represents 5.6 million workers across the United Kingdom, told NBC News.

All the other bells which chime every 15 minutes will be silent as well during the works that are due to be completed in 2021 when Big Bell's familiar tolls will begin again.

Big Ben last fell silent in 2007, and before that, for major repairs between 1983 and 1985. It would be very odd if at midnight on that day it does not chime out, very freakish.

Parliamentary officials said the decision has been made to protect the workers carrying out the renovations.

They warned that those using the 100-metre-high scaffolding around the tower could also be startled by the 118-decibel bongs.

The £29 million renovation includes the installation of a lift and repairs to the clock's hands, mechanism and pendulum.

"We expect to make an announcement regarding the contract in the autumn".

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