Big Ben silenced for maintenance this weekend

Workers will be replacing the rubber hammer buffers on three of the four quarter bells.

big ben 88 (photo credit:)
big ben 88
(photo credit: )
The tolling of Big Ben will not be heard this weekend during its longest maintenance shutdown in 22 years. Specialist engineers will be examining the clock in the tower of Westminster Palace, while workers from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry will be replacing the rubber hammer buffers on three of the four quarter bells, the Westminster chimes, and on Big Ben, the 13-ton bell that tolls the hour. After the buffers are replaced, the bells must be retuned, which takes several hours, the announcement said. The clock will be stopped after 8 a.m. Saturday, and is not expected to be back in action until 4 p.m. Sunday.