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UK’s Big Ben chimes for festive season after months of silence

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Published: 10:31 GMT, Dec 23, 2017 |
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Big Ben

The “Big Ben” bell in the British parliament’s famous clock tower chimed after months of silence on Saturday (December 23) to celebrate the Christmas season.

The Great Bell will resume service until 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) on New Year’s Day after it ceased its regular bongs at noon on August 21, falling silent for most of the next four years while renovation works are carried out.

As part of the works, the clock housing Big Ben will be dismantled and each cog examined and restored. 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. Its four dials will also be cleaned and repaired, their cast iron framework renewed and the hands removed and refurbished.

The Palace of Westminster, home to parliament, on the bank of the River Thames, is a world heritage site and major tourist attraction. The 96-metre-tall Elizabeth Tower is believed to be the most photographed building in the United Kingdom.

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