National & International

When does the time change? Big Ben is ready for the first adjustment in five years

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This weekend marks the first time since 2017 that the most recognisable clock in the UK will be set back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), according to the BBC. 

The early hours of Sunday will see parliamentary mechanics adjust the Great Clock of Westminster, also known as Big Ben informally.
Five years ago, after being disassembled and refurbished as part of a remodelling project, it was largely silent.
On Sunday at 2:00 a.m., clocks in the UK will advance by an hour, giving many people an extra 60 minutes of sleep.
You won’t get the spectacle of Big Ben’s hands winding back that you were hoping for.

Instead, at 22:00 on Saturday, it will be manually paused with the lights turned off on the four clock faces.
At midnight, the timer will be paused and resumed. The proper time will then be shown when the lights turn back on at 02:00.
Alex Jeffrey, a clock mechanic, explained that this is done to prevent onlookers from being confused and wondering why the hands are spinning.
The shift in time would “signal a new beginning” for the famous London monument, according to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

He praised the crew working behind the scenes to guarantee that all 2,000 clocks in Parliament are adjusted on schedule during their 24-hour shift.
They will be “clocking up eight miles [13 km] altering our parliamentary clocks, including the one we love the most, the Great Clock of Westminster,” according to Sir Lindsay, while the majority of us are fast asleep.
“It is a key last moment in the conservation of this great timepiece,” he continued, “since they will be working with the clock’s completed original Victorian mechanism for the first time in five years.”

In order to provide the most precise public timepiece possible, the clock was created and erected in 1859.

As the Big Ben bell was getting ready for the time change, the happy Commons Speaker offered his assistance.


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