Before Big Ben’s Birthday: Little Ben Finds His Voice

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Little Ben has his chance to shine for a day

So, tomorrow might be the 150th birthday of Big Ben, but today saw another celebration: the day Little Ben found his voice.

If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, Little Ben is a miniature replica of the Palace at Westminster’s (or the Houses of Parliament to you and me) famous clock tower.

When we say minature, it’s still sizable, at 30ft (9 metres). You’ll have probably walked past Little Ben many times without a second thought: he’s happily situated at the other end of Victoria Street to his more famous big brother, on the crossroads with Vauxhall Bridge Road, near Victoria Station.

Today, Little Ben has had his chance to shine. For one day only, he’s sounded an incredible mega-chime; a replica of his brother’s famous “bongs”, every hour, on the hour, between 7am and 7pm.

The Big Ben replica was built in 1892. He was removed in 1964 and subsequently re-erected by Westminster Council in 1981, thanks to funding from a French oil company as a token of Franco-British friendship.

Tomorrow might be all about his famous big brother’s big anniversary; today, though, belongs to the less well-known Little Ben.