Rule Bricktania: The Renovation of Big Ben, Parliament and Buckingham Palace (April 2017-2028)

PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
edited January 2017 in General Discussion Posts: 3,667
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Britain's Elizabeth Tower, colloquially known as "Big Ben", is scheduled to undergo a three year restoration starting in January 2017 and lasting three years. The project is expected to cost £29,000,000. The striking and tolling of the bell will stop for a few months, but will be maintained for important events. Scaffolding will go up around the clock, but will be removed as repair work progresses, and one of the clock's four faces will be visible at all times.

Steve Jaggs, Parliament's Keeper of the Great Clock had this to say:
"The tower is not unstable, but unless we do something now it's going to get a lot worse."

The last major overhaul of the clock commenced on 11 August 2007, when bearings in the clock's chime train and the "great bell" striker were replaced for the first time since installation. This took 6 weeks.

The clock's first, and so far only, major breakdown occurred on 5 August 1976 at around 3:45AM, when torsional metal fatigue caused the chiming mechanism to fracture, sending the flywheel and huge chunks of metal spinning around the clockroom. Below is a photo of the damage.

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Read more at https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/building/palace/big-ben/elizabeth-tower-and-big-ben-conservation-works-2017-/all-your-questions-about-the-works-answered/

In addition, the renovation of Parliament and Buckingham Palace will also take place.

With the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme, the essential work to be done to Parliament will commence in the early 2020s. Designed by the architect Charles Barry, the current Parliament buildings, called the Palace of Westminster replaced the old Palace which burned down in the year 1834. Much work needs to be done, as many of the original fittings dating back to the mid-1800s have never undergone modernisation/renovation. One of the biggest problems affecting the repair and maintenance of the Palace is the existence of asbestos throughout the building.

Also of concern are the leaking cast-iron roofs, and the 4000 windows that cause significant heat loss. No word on the final cost just yet, but initial estimates have a £7bn price tag, and the Members of Parliament will have to move out for 6 years between 2022 and 2028.

More information can be found here (http://www.restorationandrenewal.parliament.uk/index.html) and (http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/joint-select/joint-committee-on-the-palace-of-westminster/news-parliament-2015/restoration-of-palace-of-westminster-report-published-16-17/)

The restoration of Buckingham Palace is slated to cost £370m. The refurbishment, the biggest undertaken on the property since the second world war, will renew the palace’s 33-year-old boilers, 100 miles of electrical cable, some of it 60 years old, and 20 miles of lead and cast iron pipework. The Queen will not move out; it had been previously thought she would. The work will start in April of this year and last until 2027.

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Comments

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,096
    Very interesting, @PropertyOfALady. I believe they are renovating the Houses of Parliament too.

    You've reminded me of an article about Big Ben that I need to write soon!
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    Newly posted info here. Extra, extra!!
  • I want to know something now: Was EU subsidy used to finance these refurbishments and renovations?
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    I want to know something now: Was EU subsidy used to finance these refurbishments and renovations?

    I am not entirely sure, although I don't think so.
  • MrcogginsMrcoggins Following in the footsteps of Quentin Quigley.
    Posts: 3,140
    I want to know something now: Was EU subsidy used to finance these refurbishments and renovations?

    Of course not
    Houses of commons and the lords are Crown Property.

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited February 2017 Posts: 16,096
    Mrcoggins wrote: »
    I want to know something now: Was EU subsidy used to finance these refurbishments and renovations?

    Of course not
    Houses of commons and the lords are Crown Property.

    Quite true. We don't need EU money. The EU however needs ours. Sad face.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    Not really anything to do with the renovation but here's a funny article.

    http://londonist.com/london/history/the-story-of-london-s-other-great-stink
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    I want to know something now: Was EU subsidy used to finance these refurbishments and renovations?

    No. Thats not how it works.

    EU money is only used to build motorways in places like Portugal or Romania but the last time I drove past a big sign in England saying 'Funded by the EU' was err never.

    But my taxes keep getting funneled to Brussels. Not for much longer though!!!
  • Posts: 7,653
    When I worked in England some time ago the politicians loved the EU, some of the city council of various cities told me so, they go bathe in the good work and stuff the EU offered and there was plenty and blame all the other stuff that went not so well on the EU. They all admitted it was a politicians wet dream. With the EU out of the way they will have to come up with their own defenses and good works.
    As we saw with the floodings last year and the year before and how everything was supposed to work the English should have noticed how bad politicians and the various responsible had been not doing their job at all. This is the politician that will be governing the UK and no more EU will be able to blamed.
    That said the works to be done on these beautiful buildings was long overdue and one should expect them to be expensive, keeping them for posterity and modernizing ia always going to be expensive. Especially as you can be sure some families will be getting the work form the old-boys network now that the EU rules on building and bidding for the job are out of the door.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    Well, I guess I'd much prefer an expensive restoration over a crumbling Parliament.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Well, I guess I'd much prefer an expensive restoration over a crumbling Parliament.

    Are you talking about the building or is that a metaphor?
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    Both!
  • Posts: 170
    I want to know something now: Was EU subsidy used to finance these refurbishments and renovations?

    The UK is a net contributor. There is no subsidy from the EU to UK. It's like you handing me £100, me giving you £20 of it back and telling you what to spend it on. I don't think I would be 'subsidising' you.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/big-ben-renovation-cost-elizabeth-tower-palace-of-westminster-a7974636.html

    There's also an article that says they want Big Ben to bong England out of the EU on Brexit day.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    So I just found out that the clock numerals and hands were repainted to blue in 2019.

    Also, I completely forgot about this.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,096
    Good to see this thread revived.

    Yes, the renovation work is still ongoing.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    This doesn't have to do with Parliament or Big Ben, but does fit with restoration: does anyone know the status of the Lazenby lamppost?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited September 2021 Posts: 16,096
    Update: Countdown to completion for Big Big restoration - BBC News, 6 September 2021:


    So I just found out that the clock numerals and hands were repainted to blue in 2019.

    Also, I completely forgot about this.

    According to the BBC News report posted above the hands of the clock face were originally painted in Prussian blue and the restorers only discovered this when they stripped back the layers of black paint to uncover the blue paint below it all. They've thus decided to paint them in the original Prussian blue again after all these years. The cost of the restoration has now rocketed to £80 million by the way.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,096
  • Posts: 1,314
    Ironically where I am from in South Yorkshire was the beneficiary of lots of EU money in the late 80s/ early 90s as the closure of industry by the tories needed hundreds of millions of infrastructure and technology to give people jobs
    The same people voted leave, against their historic and future better interests.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    I don't know if I really like the blue, honestly. It could just be that it's always been seen as black, so the blue seems to look funny. Also, that's a very interesting thing about HP Sauce. I gotta say that, "HP Sauce," does sound better than "Houses of Parliament Sauce".
  • Matt007 wrote: »
    Ironically where I am from in South Yorkshire was the beneficiary of lots of EU money in the late 80s/ early 90s as the closure of industry by the tories needed hundreds of millions of infrastructure and technology to give people jobs
    The same people voted leave, against their historic and future better interests.

    Yeah, I don’t really have a dog in the Brexit fight. I can see arguments for and against the EU, and to be honest I just want it over with now so people can base their vote on other issues. But they did do a lot for some deprived areas. And the “levelling up” money (yeah we’ll see, Sunak’s got more austerity for us right around the corner) isn’t enough to match the money we’re losing from those regional development funds.

    I’ve never driven past something that said “funded by the EU” either, but maybe that’s part of the problem? My wife is from a similar sort of area to you, an ex-mining town that benefited from that money, and they mostly voted to leave round there too (unlike their English equivalents though they still couldn’t bring themselves to vote Tory last election, it’s still a Labour seat). Maybe that money should have been advertised more. A mate of mine who lives in Liverpool for example told me their local media did a lot to highlight the EU investment they’d had, and they ended up voting massively in favour of remain.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited October 2021 Posts: 16,096
    I don't know if I really like the blue, honestly. It could just be that it's always been seen as black, so the blue seems to look funny. Also, that's a very interesting thing about HP Sauce. I gotta say that, "HP Sauce," does sound better than "Houses of Parliament Sauce".

    Yes, I noticed a while back myself that the old glass bottles and plastic squeezy bottles of HP Sauce had the renovation cladding incorporated on to them. I think that's rather neat, even if the famous brown sauce is now made in the Netherlands rather than the UK, something which caused some popular controversy at the time under the New Labour government.
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