"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on April 7, 2016 by Sioux under General


Enroute from Tottenham back to Uxbridge, I got off the Underground at the Westminster Tube Station and went walkabout in London, until the rain brought my exploring to a halt. I did however manage to stretch my legs a fair bit.

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As I walked up out of the tube station, I looked up …… my tummy did a few tumbles…. and my throat got all lumpy…… as it did when I was last in this area…… Big Ben…… towering over the surrounding buildings and landscape ….as the magnificent building has done for the last 157 years!

Malfunctions, breakdowns, and other interruptions in Big Ben’s

operation – 

1916: For two years during World War I, the bells were silenced and

the clock face not illuminated at night to avoid guiding attacking

German Zeppelins.

1 September 1939: Although the bells continued to ring, the clock

faces were not illuminated at night through World War II to avoid

guiding bomber pilots during the Blitz.

3–4 June 1941: The clock stopped from 10:13 pm until 10:13 the

following morning, after a workman repairing air raid damage to the

clock face dropped a hammer into the works.

1949: The clock slowed by four and a half minutes after a flock of

starlings perched on the minute hand.

New Year’s Eve 1962: The clock slowed due to heavy snow and ice

on the long hands, causing the pendulum to detach from the

clockwork, as it is designed to do in such circumstances, to avoid serious

damage elsewhere in the mechanism – the pendulum continuing to swing freely. Thus it chimed in the New Year 10 minutes late.

30 January 1965: The bells were silenced during the funeral of statesman and Prime Minister Winston Churchill; and again on 17 April 2013, as a mark of respect during the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Big Ben is the nickname for the largest of the Great Bells of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. Previously known as The Clock Tower, it is now officially known as Elizabeth Tower, renamed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012. The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world (after Minneapolis City Hall). Building was completed in 1858 and had its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009. Big Ben has become one of the most prominent iconic symbols of the United Kingdom. Despite being one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to overseas visitors, though United Kingdom residents are able to arrange tours (well in advance) through their Member of Parliament. However, the tower has no lift, so those escorted must climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top.

Just outside the tube station, this lady busker was playing the most haunting tunes on her accordion, watched over by her ginormous, but sad looking Leonberger.

There really is so much to see in the City of London; even the tube stations have something to take photos of!


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2 responses to “Day tripping….playtime….”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Wow love that Leonberger its bigger than the lady who owns it he he. The facts you share about Elizabeth Tower is so interesting thank you Sue!

  2. Paul says:

    Mind the yellow line at the tube station?

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