After spending years hidden behind bandages Big Ben will finally unveil its new face as it rings in the New Year.
While Londoners will once again miss out on a firework display they will be treated to the sound Big Ben’s characteristic bongs as it ushers in 2022.
Big Ben has spent three and a half years undergoing £79.7m worth of major reconstructive surgery.
The dials and hands have been restored to their original Prussian blue colouring with hundreds of craftsmen working on repairing masonry, replacing metalwork and repainting Parliament’s clock tower as they made the biggest changes to the landmark since it was built in 1859.
Nick Sturge, project manager for Sir Robert McAlpine’s special projects, told Reuters that removing the scaffolding was a “massive milestone.”
“By New Year people will start to see a big difference; they’ll start to get their tower back,” he said. “The roofs will be fully visible along with the four clock faces.”
The 12 bongs from the Great Bell that will mark the turning of the year are to be powered by an electric motor.
However, the original Victorian clock mechanism will be used when the bells resume their familiar pattern of chiming every fifteen minutes and striking every hour in the spring.
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