Royal Caribbean Offers To Give Parliament The Horn
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Royal Caribbean Cruises has offered up one of its ship’s horns as a temporary replacement after news that London’s Big Ben will be silenced for four years due to renovation work.
(And before we go any further, the funniest part of this story is in the headline above, borrowed from TravelWeeklyUK. Just look up the English idiom ‘give the horn’ and you’ll understand.)
RCCL wrote to Speaker of The House of Commons offering to adapt one of its ship horns to strike every hour to the note of E – accompanied by four quarter blasts every 15 minutes.
Facing controversy over the long silence of the famous bell, the House of Commons said it would look again at the length of time Big Ben will be out of action while repairs are made to the surrounding Elizabeth Tower.
The bell is to be put out of use – except for special occasions – for four years beginning today. But Prime Minister Theresa May says “it can’t be right” that the famous bongs will not be heard again until 2021.
The letter from Royal Caribbean reads: “Having chimed – almost – unbroken for the past 157 years, we’ve heard The Great Bell will be out of action for four years and were compelled to try and help.
“Rather than leave the capital in silence, the Royal Caribbean team have put in a word with our UK and Ireland managing director, Ben Bouldin (the other Big Ben), and he would be more than happy to lend you one of our ship’s horns until 2021 to play from Parliament Square.”