Debate Magazine

Big Ben Row - There's an Easy Solution Or Two.

Posted on the 16 August 2017 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From The Daily Mail:
The Prime Minister urged an 'urgent' review of the plans for renovating the Elizabeth Tower amid mounting anger... The Commons unveiled details of the renovation project on Monday, saying that health and safety concerns meant the bongs would not sound regularly again until 2021...
Speaking on a visit to the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in Portsmouth after returning from holiday, Mrs May said: 'Of course we want to ensure people's safety at work but it can't be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years. And I hope that the Speaker, as the chairman of the House of Commons commission, will look into this urgently so that we can ensure that we can continue to hear Big Ben through those four years.'

I can imagine that construction workers don't want to be subjected to the sound of Big Ben every fifteen minutes for an entire shift for months or years, which is why they intend to disable the bell first, fair enough.
But to keep the traditionalists happy, why not just discreetly mount loud speakers somewhere on the tower away from people are working (shifting the loud speakers around as necessary) and play a recording? I assume the tower will be covered in scaffolding, so easy to mount and hide large loud speakers. Point them outwards, stick some decent sound proofing behind them, everybody's happy. Most people have only ever heard recordings of the bell so won't notice the difference.
My colleague at work had a slightly more radical suggestion - just employ construction workers who are deaf.

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