Today marks 100 years of the tradition of ringing Big Ben in the New Year live from the famous Elizabeth Tower in London around the world.
According to the news agency AFP, after New Year’s Eve in 1923, when BBC engineer AG Dryland climbed onto the roof in front of the British Parliament to record the ongoing strikes, the live broadcast became an annual tradition. There is a mill.
The never-failing voice of ‘the clock of the nation’ has long held a special place in the national life of Great Britain.
The bells are heard twice a day and three times on Sundays on BBC Radio. Apart from this, the 10 pm news on the commercial channel ITV also starts with the sound of these bells.
The bells are of such importance that they have been largely silenced during a recently completed five-year restoration program, even though they have been spared on some occasions.
This time too, along with the New Year, Big Ben continued to commemorate Armistice Day and those who died in this war on Sunday.
Big Ben also rang the bells to mark Britain’s departure from the European Union in 2021 and the official funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022.
Normal service at Elizabeth Tower resumed last November after a week of testing.
Today, while everyone else in London is enjoying New Year’s Eve, clockwork mechanic Andrew Strangeway will be atop the 315-foot Elizabeth Tower.
A clock and its five bells are installed in this tower. Among them, the biggest one is the bell called ‘Big Ben’.
Today, 37-year-old Andrew Strangeway, along with two other members of the in-house timekeeping team, will be checking the clock to the last minute to ensure that not even a fraction of a second is left on the clock.
“The margin of error is very low”
Although the chances of an accident with the clock on New Year’s Eve are slim to none, Andrew Strangeway says that in the 1970s the clock stopped once due to a piece of metal rusting.
He said, “I think the chances of a serious mistake are very low.” Our main concern at an occasion like New Year is whether it is going to end and whether it will happen at the right time.
The construction of this building was completed in 1859. Earlier this structure was known as Clock Tower. Then in 2012, it was named Elizabeth Tower in honor of the Queen of Great Britain’s Diamond Jubilee.
Andrew Strangeway said he was excited to be ‘right next to those bells at the moment when all eyes are on the clock to ring in the new year.’