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Papa’s got a brand new face



In August 2017, Big Ben chimed midday, and promptly fell silent for the next four years (barring special events like New Year’s Eve and Armistice Day). Though we were all pretty miffed at this – myself especially, who’d moved to London only two days earlier and felt personally victimised – the four-year restoration project will have the clock looking spiffy in no time. Today, we got our first look at the clock face, and there’s been a subtle but significant change.

Can’t spot it? We’ll help you out: Big Ben’s (yes, I know that’s the name of the bell, but sue me) clock face had been painted black since the 1930s, but the restoration work has transformed the Great Clock back to the original Victorian blue and gold colour scheme.


When you’re 160 years old, you need a little revamp from time to time, and the new colour scheme looks grand. I don’t want to guess how long it took workers to pick out the detailing, but they’re not done yet; only the North Dial has been finished, with a further three to complete. The rest of us have a while to wait too, as works won’t be completed until 2021 – but hey, at least now Big Ben can tell time until he’s blue in the face…


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