Big Ben chimes again for Christmas, New Year

Londoners listened as Big Ben bell chimed again for the first time since Remembrance Sunday. The hourly chimes will go on until the bell rings in the New Year and then fall silent except for other special occasions. Big Ben remained mostly silent since August under parliament’s $80 million refurbishment programme. Repairs to the 160-year-old, 96-metre Elizabeth Tower include adjusting the clock to fix problems that cannot be rectified while it is in action. The clock will be dismantled piece by piece, with each cog examined and restored early next year. Before the recent repairs, Big Ben had rung every quarter hour, almost without interruption, for 157 years.