Big clock fixed with a few small pennies
Big clock fixed with a few small pennies In this Thursday, April 30, 2009 file photo, the Big Ben bell is seen inside St. Stephens tower at the Houses of Parliament, in central London. Officials on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 said that the famous clock at Britain's Parliament, used by people across Britain to check the time, has recently been slow by as much as six seconds. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Big clock fixed with a few small pennies
Lexile: 590L

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Don't set your watch by Big Ben.
Officials say the famous clock at Britain's Parliament has recently been slow. And by as much as six seconds. It has been used by Londoners for many years to check the time.
The clock is 156 years old. It chimes every 15 minutes.  Deep bongs ring to mark the hour. Its error was noticed by staff at BBC radio. It broadcasts the bongs live at 6 p.m.
Ian Westworth is one of Parliament's three clocksmiths. He told the BBC the clock had become "a little temperamental" with age.
"Imagine running your car for 24 hours a day. And 365 days a year for the last 156 years," he said.
Parliamentary officials said that mechanics had fixed the clock. They got it within "normal parameters." That is within 2 seconds of the right time. They will continue to adjust it. They do that by placing pennies on the pendulum. Or they will remove them. The pennies are used to fine-tune its speed.
Parliament's clock tower is one of London's most recognizable landmarks. Its bell is one of London's feature sounds. The famous bongs echoed through the city without fail through World War II bombing raids. The bongs have been silenced a few times. They are quiet for repairs. And they are also silenced by accident or the weather.
The clock tower is popularly known as Big Ben. But, the name actually refers to the 13-and-one-half-ton Great Bell inside. The tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012. The year marked Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne.

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Why do mechanics use pennies to adjust the time?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • garrett-hym
    9/10/2015 - 01:51 p.m.

    maby there was hols and it and the pennys would fite there

  • gianna-hym
    9/10/2015 - 01:54 p.m.

    The pennies use to fine-tune its speed.

  • kayliana-hym
    9/10/2015 - 01:55 p.m.

    i think that they place the pennies on the pendulum to fine tune its speed

  • sophia-hym
    9/10/2015 - 03:04 p.m.

    Because it speeds the clock up and sometimes they take the
    penny's out

  • jocelyn-hym
    9/10/2015 - 03:26 p.m.

    because it spes up the time and slos the time

  • zaire-hym
    9/10/2015 - 03:27 p.m.

    mechanics use pennies to fine tunes its speed.

  • abigailf-ros
    9/11/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    The pennies are used to adjust the tune speed.

  • cooper-hym
    9/11/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    Pennies are used to fine-tune the clock

  • mary-hym
    9/11/2015 - 02:20 p.m.

    Mechanics use pennies to adjust the time because the pennies can help fine-tune the bells speed.They do that by placing pennies on the pendulum.????

  • jayonnag-ros
    9/11/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    According to " Big clock finished with a few small penny's" mechanics used penny's to adjust time becuase the penny's are used to fine-tune its speed.

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