BIG BEN TO BE SILENCED DURING MARGARET THATCHER’S FUNERAL – With just hours to go before Baroness Thatcher if laid to rest alongside her beloved husband Sir Denis Thatcher, Parliament and Security Officials are putting the finishing touches to her funeral arrangements that are expected to cost the taxpayer £10 million.
Heads of State from around the world are now arriving and it has been decided that during the funeral that all flags across the capital will be flown at half-mask and that the chimes of Big Ben will be silenced as a tribute and mark of respect.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W.H. Auden – Stop all the Clocks
Regardless of how undignified it may seem there are still those who are opposing such a state funded funeral and have vowed to disrupt it. Some have reported that they intend to pelt Baroness Thatcher’s coffin with ‘coal’ in retaliation over the miners’ strike in 1990.
Turning off Big Ben’s chimes will be the first time this had been done for a funeral since Sir Winston Churchill’s death. The original idea was for Big Ben to chime 87 times, one for each year of her life; as was the case with Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral but the Thatcher family rejected the idea.
This evening Baroness Thatcher’s body will arrive at the Houses of Parliament where it will remain in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft before tomorrow’s event.
Tomorrow morning Baroness Thatcher will being her final journey leaving Parliament to St. Paul’s Cathedral for the ceremony.
It is hoped that the cries for riots and demonstrations will be silenced and allow Baroness Thatcher a peaceful and dignified funeral.