LITTLE BEN puts one over its larger brother today (Friday), by sounding out its own bells ahead of Big Ben’s 150th birthday.
For one day only, each hour on the hour until 7pm this evening, the newly fitted chimes will ring loud as travellers pass by its location outside Victoria station.
“Perhaps one of London’s best kept secrets, it’s high time Little Ben came out from the shadows and was given a voice,” said Sally Chatterjee of London’s official tourist organisation, which organised the stunt.
Unfortunately for Little Ben, size matters*.
Today’s bit of fun is a warm-up act for tomorrow’s birthday party, when Big Ben celebrates 150 years of chiming with a special piece of music by composer Benjamin Till.
Based on the Oranges and Lemons nursery rhyme, which lists 17 of London’s famous church bells, the piece is to be performed for the first time in public tomorrow (Saturday 11 July) at St Mary Le Bow Church.
“The process of pulling all the bells together in the studio was like pulling teeth,” said Till, who had to record 4,000 individual bell strikes on the way to completing his composition.
* Little Ben stands 30ft (9m) tall. Big Ben is 316 ft (96m) top to toe.