London’s Big Ben fails to strike for almost one hour due to mechanical glitch

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Big Ben’s bell falls silent as dials of the Great Clock stopped moving on Wednesday due to a technical glitch.

Big Ben failed to chime after the Great Clock at the Houses of Parliament in London  stopped moving on Wednesday afternoon (May 10). However, the technical glitch was soon rectified. The four dials of the Great Clock reportedly stopped moving at 12.55pm, leaving the bells silent at 1pm.

Half an hour later, the clock was brought forward to be set, but the clock was still running around five minutes late, according to witnesses. The clock however had started again at 1.47pm, displaying the correct time, reported Reuters

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A House of Commons spokesperson said: “We are aware that the clock dials on the Elizabeth Tower were temporarily displaying the incorrect time on Wednesday afternoon. Clock mechanics worked quickly to rectify the issue and the clock is now functioning as normal.”

The last time the 13-tonne Big Ben fell largely silent was when it underwent £80 million major restoration works of the Elizabeth Tower for five years, with the so-called ‘bongs’ resuming regular service in November 2022. Londoners described the sound of the fully restored bell as ‘crispier’ than before.

Initially estimated to be £29m, the renovation has ended up costing £250,000 per foot of the 315 feet structure due to delays and the uncovering of extensive bombing damage from the Second World War. The renovation period marked the longest period of silence in the landmark’s history. 

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