What Actually Happens To Big Ben When The Clocks Change?

Twice a year, the time on the Great Clock has to be changed, so that millions of Londoners know precisely when to get home to catch the soaps. Alright, most of us just check the time on our smartphones nowadays, but tradition still dictates that the Great Clock has to be changed, adjusting for the changes between British Summer Time (BST) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The responsibity for changing the clocks lies with the – very regal sounding – Palace of Westminster Clockmakers, who each spring and autumn must scale the tower to add or remove the necessary hour. The process is so precise that not a second can be spared. The re-setting of the clock also lets them check on the workings of the clock, to make sure that everything is above board and that there are no causes for concern.

Did you think that was it for the Clockmakers? Of course it’s not! They have to adjust the time on a mere 2000 other clocks, dotted about the Palace of Westminster and the parliamentary buildings. Theirs is not an easy job of course, but with everything being manual, they probably didn’t have the millenium bug to contend with… Check out the video below to learn more about the process and its intricate time change schedule.

Feature Image: Flickr  – GrahamVPhoto
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