Last bongs for Big Ben as 4-year repairs begin

 

Last bongs for Big Ben as 4-year repairs begin

At midday, 12 bongs from the famous bell rang out

By AFP

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Published: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 11:29 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Aug 2017, 1:35 AM

london - London landmark Big Ben fell silent for four years in front of a reverential crowd on Monday amid an outcry over the temporary loss of a cherished symbol of stability at a time of national uncertainty.
At midday, 12 bongs from the famous bell rang out in front of around 1,000 local residents, tourists and MPs who came out to mark Big Ben's longest silence in its 157-year history for extensive repair work. The atmosphere was sombre as the hour chimes heralded the final bongs. The 12th and final bong was followed by applause.
London landmark Big Ben fell silent for four years start-ing Monday, as a political outcry mounted over renovations that will rob Britain of a cherished symbol at a time of national un-certainty.
The 12 bongs from the famous bell rang out for midday in front of a hushed crowd of over a thou-sand people assembled in Parliament Square to mark the longest silence in its 157-year history.
"I can see it from where I live. I do live my life by it. I'm 72 and I'm worried it might be the last time I actually hear them!" said Denise Wiand, one of the spectators, who lives on the other side of the River Thames from parliament.Thomas Moser, a 54-year-old German tourist, said: "The crowd were really listening. We are here, we want to hear every single sound. It's almost a historical moment."Westminster's Elizabeth Tower, which looms over the Houses of Parliament and is one of Britain's most popular tourist attractions, is due for conservation work. 


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