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The UK’s first silent night

It was the week that… Londoners enjoyed their first silent night!
There aren’t many things that can silence a capital city quite like the announcement of Big Ben retiring for the next 4 years, but that’s exactly what happened this week.
For the first time in 157 years, Big Ben chimed it’s bells for the very last time on Monday 21st August at noon, as restoration work began on one of the most renowned landmarks in the UK. To commemorate the longest silence in the clock’s history, people gathered outside Big Ben to watch him chime his last bongs, but not us…
Never one to miss out on a PR opportunity, the team at Smoking Gun PR jumped on this monumental occasion with none other than Silentnight to reap the benefits of the city’s first silent night. Taking to the streets of London armed with a Geltex bed, pair of slippers, alarm clock, night stand and of course, a cuddly Hippo & Duck, the team helped one lucky person enjoy a silent snooze on the Southbank.
So whilst many shed tears of sadness and joy,  The Smoking Gun team weren’t the only ones to seize a PR opportunity as The Sun also offered those mourning the loss of Big Ben with a shoulder to cry on, in the form of a mini Ben. Taking to the streets with a scale model, Big Ben was strapped to a truck equipped with loudspeakers and chimed on behalf of his Big Ben brother.
However, fear not! For Big Ben will bong once again on key dates in our calendars such as Remembrance Day, New Year’s Eve and let’s not forget the day that Britain officially leaves the EU!
Top facts you didn’t know about Big Ben:

  • Tick tock on the clock: To ensure Big Ben runs on time, each year the clock is adjusted using an old English penny. To maintain the correct time throughout the year pennies are added (if it’s running fast) or removed (if it’s running slow). For each penny added, the clock gains 2/5 of a second a day
  • Scrub-a-dub-dub: Every five years a group of window washers clean Big Ben with hot soap and water!
  • What’s my name?: You might think you know who Big Ben is but actually it’s the big bell inside the clock that’s named Big Ben. “Big Ben’s??? official name is actually called the Elizabeth Tower and was renamed in 2012 after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee


  • The Great Bell: The designers of Big Ben’s bell, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, ceased trading this year in May 2017 after 279 years in service

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