Big Ben will sound for centenary of Armistice despite ongoing repair works

Big Ben will strike on Remembrance Sunday to mark the centenary of the Armistice, despite the clock tower being covered in scaffolding for conservation works.

The 13.7 tonne bell, which hangs in the Elizabeth Tower in Westminster, will sound 11 times at 11am on Sunday for the traditional two minutes of remembrance, the Government has said.

Big Ben hanging in Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower (UK Parliament/Mark Duffy)

It will strike a further 11 times at 12.30 with bells across the UK and worldwide as part of a programme of events to mark the end of the First World War 100 years ago.

Only Big Ben will be heard, while the four quarter bells that produce the 16 notes of the Westminster Chimes will remain silent.

The 159-year-old clock tower is currently undergoing renovation work, meaning the famous bells have been silent since August 2017 after being disconnected from the clock mechanism.

The bells were reconnected briefly to ring in the new year in 2018, but the entire clock mechanism has since been removed for repair and maintenance works.

The 200kg hammer that strikes Big Ben has been fitted with a temporary mechanism so it can still chime for national events (Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament)

To ensure that Big Ben can sound for important national events, a custom-built electronic mechanism has been built to power the 200kg striking hammer.

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