*

*

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Ben...



Today, London's Victorian chimes of Big Ben carried the customary four notes from Handel's Messiah every fifteen minutes across the city in celebration of the clock's 150th birthday.

On May 31, 1859, the clock officially started keeping time. Big Ben started tolling a few days later, and within months it cracked and didn't resume service until 1862.

At first legislators complained that it was too loud, while The Times of London lamented that the blunders surrounding the project were a "disgrace to all concerned".

But, as the bad memories faded and London's collective ear became used to the bong of the great bell, the tower became a cherished part of the city's landscape, and the country's self-image.


Big Ben is actually the nickname for the great bell of the clock.

15 comments:

Deanna said...

I would love to hear the sound!

Blessings to you,
~Deanna~

Bella Weddings said...

OK...
Anyone who loves Tennessee, is British, loves animals, gardening, antiques & has 'Out of Africa' playing on her blog, has to be my friend.
I feel a close kinship to Brits. My mother-in-law is still a Subject of the Queen even though she's lived here since 1945. I'm a history major with a love of English & Scottish history, spend time in the garden & with my cats & husband & daughters when I'm not planning/coordinating weddings.
Where are you? Looks like maybe middle-east of the state.
I'm in Nashville. Check out my website www.yourbellawedding.com.
Be checking in later.
Hope you have a great week.
And I love your blog - truly beautiful.
Vickie/BellaWeddings

Pastor Sharon said...

These pictures are magnificent! I have dreamed of seeing Big Ben with my own eyes, to stand before a structure that commands respect, keeping the time of humanity who graces the clock with their presence.
Thanks for sharing! Happy Birthday Big Ben!

L. D. Burgus said...

You have a lot of neat heritage to share. It is neat that you are able to keep track of both via the internet. Thanks so much for my award. I hope I don't come off as the guy who talks too much. Thanks again.

amillionmilesfromeverywhere said...

when i lived in london, big ben was my favorite tourist site to visit. i remember sitting in that little courtyard across the street from parliment on many occasions just sitting and staring at that huge clock. it was especially enchanting at night.

happy birthday ben!

bennie and patsy said...

Love the stones the gate and big Ben. Jo your music and beautiful photos put me in a dream state. So relaxing to visit you.
Patsy

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how I'd love to hear that sound!!! Happy Birthday, Big Ben.

Hugs,
Betsy

Denise said...

That's such a neat bit of history about Big Ben. Thanks for sharing it.

Star said...

You can hear Big Ben if you go to www.bbc.co.uk and listen to Radio 4. At midnight their time *you'll have to check yours) you will hear it chiming midnight.
Loved your post Jo. Miss Big Ben, but I'll see it again fairly soon.
Blessings, Star

Southern Drawl said...

Isn't it funny how icons often have a rocky start...beautiful!

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

London without Big Ben would not be the same would it? A bit like Dagenham without me (hahaha). It's hard to bear in mind that Big Ben really isn't that old! Last time I visited Parliament Square I deliberately hung around until Big Ben chimed on the hour - music to my ears! I wonder if I can find a ring tone of Big Ben...

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Denise: doesn't it bring back wonderful memories...especially the BBC News at 9:00pm.

Star: Thank you, I will have a little look-see at the times....

Southern Drawl: yes, and they seem to live on regardless...

Dave, try this site for your ring tone ... http://www.ldmstudio.com/mp3-ringtones/free-real-tones.php?id=2120

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Bella Weddings: Nice to meet you !
I see we are almost neighbors :)

Pastor Sharon: A magnificent sight !

L.D. Burgus: Your award is well deserved, no you don't come off as a talker, more of a fellow blogger who encourages others with nice comments.... Thank you !

A Million miles; Glad you was able to see it, it's a huge clock !

crunchiemummy said...

So nice to find a fellow Brit blogger. We very nearly moved to Nashville from Florida a couple of years ago, but couldn't sell our home.

I've enjoyed reading your blog!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

crunchiemummy: Thanks and so nice to meet another Brit blogger...
Tennessee reminds me of living in Wales, it's a beautiful, green state.
I see you must like...no LOVE cruchies, your a girl after my own heart ;)
Thanks for stopping by !