Today at midday, Big Ben made what was his last chime until at least 2021. While it’s been reported that during the renovation work one side of the clock will be on show at any given time, this much-loved London landmark will no longer stop people in their tracks with its striking music-making. The Westminster landscape has changed for at least four years and it got us thinking…
If we had the power to stop time at any moment in our lives, when would it have been?
Here we ‘chime in’ with some of the best times in our lives to date.
“There are so many instances in my life where I wish I could go back and stop time, just to savour in the happiness for a little longer. The one that really stands out for me though is a sunny day way back in June 2006 – the day I graduated from The University of Glasgow. For me, knowing all the hard work had paid off was one of the best feelings I’d ever had. It was the end of 18 years of education and the start of my journey into the ‘real world’ and I couldn’t wait to see where life would take me. It was also a day spent with so many of my favourite people that I had met over the past four years, joined by my family and their families, drinking too much and appreciating the beautiful city that had been our student home.”
“If I could stop time and savour one moment it would probably be the second Scott Sinclair’s shot hit the net at the Holte End in Villa Park to put Villa 2-0 up against local rivals West Brom and into an FA Cup semi-final. Those games are always tense and I nearly didn’t go, but I made the last-minute decision to drive down from my flat in Leeds. It was a rare positive moment in the last seven years as a Villa fan, since Martin O’Neill’s resignation in 2010 and being there was an experience I’ll never forget. What I would love to be able to forget is the 4-0 thrashing Villa got in the final against Arsenal, but John Meg hardly ever mentions it.”
“If I could stop time, it would be when I went inter-railing in 2014. I visited Paris, Berlin, Venice and Rome with my sister and our boyfriends. We crammed in as much of each city as possible in two weeks; it was a lot of fun and we came home with lots of stories to tell (and some never to be spoken of again!). My favourite place was Berlin, where we did a whistle-stop bike tour of the city, experienced the infamous Berlin nightlife (where I managed to get two double jägerbombs for an astounding €4), and just had a great time. I would stop time there so I could spend longer exploring, and soaking up the history and buzz of Berlin.”
“4.50pm, 7th May, 2006. An insignificant date to most, this is the day Highbury (or Arsenal Stadium to give it its proper title) hosted its last game. I could write a book about how that stadium made me feel, but I won’t. I was in the Clock End for most of my time at Highbury and it was magical. From the smell of the burgers as you walked out of Arsenal station to the cries of ‘get your Gooner / Highbury High’ from the fanzine sellers, that place will always remind me of a football experience that doesn’t really exist anymore. I used to lie on the living room floor as a kid, with headphones plugged into the radio and listen to Arsenal home games. I dreamed of just being able to walk past that stadium one day and have my picture taken outside it. The six or seven years of going to many games there makes me feel like the luckiest man in the world.”
“Let me take you back to May 2012, when I’d just completed five years of college and was about to move to the Big Shmoke, Dublin City. My four college gals and I went on the trip of a lifetime to Cancun. With all of us stressed from our dissertation, and of course going our separate ways to start life as ‘professionals’, this holiday, surrounded by booze and the beach, was a brilliant opportunity to be reckless together one last time. We haven’t all been together in one room since this holiday so it would be ah-mazing to relive it.”