If your a tourist traveling to London this summer, odds are there are several main London tourist attractions you will be aiming to see. At the top of that list will probably be the Queen Elizabeth Tower and its iconic bell known as Big Ben. However, upon arriving in London depending on your location, you will quickly notice that Big Ben is well, not that noticeable. As you get closer to the legendary tower it will soon become clear that Big Ben is now surrounded in scaffolding making it almost unrecognizable.
If your a Londoner, this is old news. However if your a tourist arriving in London during the summer of 2018, you will be shocked at the sight of Big Ben in repair. The work had begun on Queen Elizabeth Tower in August of 2017. The work is scheduled to continue until 2021. This has caused a great uproar in London. The uproar has stemmed more from the fact that Big Ben has not only been covered in scaffolding but that it has also been silenced. For workers, that’s a good thing since they all probably do not want to go go deaf. Nonetheless, for those who live in London and are so used to hearing the famous toiling of Queen Elizabeth Tower’s Big Ben, there is an extreme longing to hear the bell rung once again.
I arrived at Big Ben this week and quickly noticed the disappointment in the tourist faces who had come to view the majestic landmark. People were trying to find some sort of photographic angle but were laying their cameras low and their heads down as they walked away. For many tourists, the chance to see such a special landmark may never come again.
The last time the Queen Elizabeth Tower undertook such drastic repairs was in 1983. Many of the tourists in London were not even born in 1983. Big Ben’s silent bell will last for four years It is the longest length of time Big Ben has ever been silenced for in its 157 year history.