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Lady , Lord. You cannot wait to start the party! Suddenly you behold a porn star, which is wearing the same dress as you. Big Ben is a tower clock known for its accuracy and for its massive hour bell.
Strictly speaking, the name refers only to the bell, which weighs Big Ben chimes every hour, and smaller bells around it chime every 15 minutes to mark each quarter hour.
The tower housing Big Ben was formally known as St. In a pendulum clock an escape wheel is allowed to rotate through the pitch of one tooth for each double swing of the pendulum and to transmit an impulse to the pendulum to keep it swinging.
An ideal escapement would transmit the impulse without interfering with the free swing, and the impulse should be as uniform as possible. The double three-legged gravity escapement designed by Denison for Big Ben achieves the second of these but not the first.
Big Ben is wound three times a week, and the winding takes over an hour. Winter Heavy snow stopped the clock for several hours. Small electric heaters were placed just inside these two dials which faced the full fury of the winter's blast, and this measure has helped to reduce instances of freezing in recent years.
Thus, it chimed-in the new year nine minutes late. The air brake speed regulator of the chiming mechanism broke from torsional fatigue after more than years of use, causing the fully wound 4-ton weight to spin the winding drum out of the movement, causing much damage.
This was the longest break in operation since its construction. During this time BBC Radio 4 broadcast the pips instead. Before , maintenance was carried out by the original firm of Dents; since , by parliamentary staff.
March and January The problem of the rubber bushings on the quarter bell chimes freezing recurred, muffling the chimes. It was the lengthiest maintenance shutdown in 22 years.
During this period, BBC Radio 4 broadcast recordings of British bird song followed by the pips in place of the usual chimes. Bearings in the clock's chime train and the "great bell" striker were replaced, for the first time since installation.
The intention was that the clock should run accurately for a further years before major maintenance is again required; in fact the repairs sufficed for ten years.
August The clock was discovered to be running 7 seconds fast, and coins were removed from its pendulum to correct the error, which caused it to run slow for a time.
During this time, dials, hands, and lights will be removed for restoration, with at least one dial—with hands driven by an electric motor—left intact, functioning, and visible at any given time.
Plans also include installing a lift. The main bell, officially known as the Great Bell but better known as Big Ben , is the largest bell in the tower and part of the Great Clock of Westminster.
Since the tower was not yet finished, the bell was mounted in New Palace Yard but, during testing, it cracked beyond repair and a replacement had to be made.
The bell was recast on 10 April at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a This new bell first chimed in July ; in September it too cracked under the hammer.
According to the foundry's manager, George Mears, the horologist Denison had used a hammer more than twice the maximum weight specified.
To make the repair, a square piece of metal was chipped out from the rim around the crack, and the bell given an eighth of a turn so the new hammer struck in a different place.
Along with the Great Bell, the belfry houses four quarter bells which play the Westminster Quarters on the quarter hours.
The quarter bells play a once-repeating, note sequence of rounds and four changes in the key of E major : 1—4 at quarter past, 5—12 at half past, 13—20 and 1—4 at quarter to, and 5—20 on the hour which sounds 25 seconds before the main bell tolls the hour.
Because the low bell B is struck twice in quick succession, there is not enough time to pull a hammer back, and it is supplied with two wrench hammers on opposite sides of the bell.
The tune is that of the Cambridge Chimes , first used for the chimes of Great St Mary 's church, Cambridge , and supposedly a variation , attributed to William Crotch , based on violin phrases from the air " I know that my Redeemer liveth " in Handel 's Messiah.
They are written on a plaque on the wall of the clock room. One of the requirements for the clock was that the first stroke of the hour bell should be correct to within one second per day.
The time signalled by the last of the "six pips" UTC may be fractionally different. The origin of the nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate.
The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall , who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after English heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt.
In August , satirical news site The Rochdale Herald published a spoof article stating that the bell was to be renamed "Massive Mohammed".
Many people mistook this for a genuine news story and were widely ridiculed on social media. The clock has become a cultural symbol of the United Kingdom , particularly in the visual media.
When a television or film-maker wishes to indicate a generic location in the country, a popular way to do so is to show an image of the tower, often with a red double-decker bus or black cab in the foreground.
In , a survey of 2, people found that the tower was the most popular landmark in the United Kingdom. The sound of the clock chiming has also been used this way in audio media, but as the Westminster Quarters are heard from other clocks and other devices, the sound is by no means unique.
Big Ben is a focal point of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom , with radio and television stations airing its chimes to welcome the start of the New Year.
To welcome in , the clock tower was lit with fireworks that exploded at every toll of Big Ben. Londoners who live an appropriate distance from the tower and Big Ben can, by means of listening to the chimes both live and on analogue radio, hear the bell strike thirteen times.
This is possible because the electronically transmitted chimes arrive virtually instantaneously, while the "live" sound is delayed travelling through the air since the speed of sound is relatively slow.
ITN 's News at Ten opening sequence formerly featured an image of the tower with the sound of Big Ben's chimes punctuating the announcement of the news headlines of the day.
The sound of the chimes is sent live from a microphone permanently installed in the tower and connected by line to Broadcasting House.