Rochdale Town Hall Steps Forward To Do The Christmas Bongs In Place of Big Ben

By Holly Brockwell on at

It's not Christmas (or indeed New Year) without the sonorous bonging of Big Ben, but since our beloved clock tower is currently silenced for repairs, a replacement has had to be found.

Step forward Rochdale in Greater Manchester, whose town hall bells will bong their noisy hearts out on Radio 4 this Christmas Eve.

Big Ben's bongs are usually broadcast live on the radio at 6pm, before the news. Since Big Ben went dark for repairs earlier this year, Radio 4 has been using a recording, but as a special Christmas treat we'll get Rochdale's bells live instead on the 24th.

The clock at Rochdale is actually pretty Elizabeth Tower-esque:

Image: Pimlico Badger via Flickr CC

Just perhaps a tad less famous. Hopefully this publicity boost will help with that: the town hall is a gorgeous building and very deserving of a visit.

Allen Brett from Rochdale Borough Council said between bongs:

"This is a huge boost for Rochdale and I am delighted that our town has been recognised in this way.

Rochdale Town Hall is one of the country’s most iconic buildings and we are proud its famous gongs will ring out across the land over the festive period.

Well done to the BBC for backing our campaign and for striking a chord [ho ho] with public opinion.

Let the bells ring out for Christmas!"

You get the impression he doesn't get to make this kind of statement very often. Bless.

Big Ben, meanwhile, will be shushed until 2021, ruining tourists' holidays with its inconsiderate scaffolding and lack of bong.

Main image: Tim Green via Flickr CC