Faulty Bearing on London’s Big Ben Halts March of Time on 3 Occasions

<i> Associated Press</i>

It’s not the heat but a faulty bearing that stopped the clock of Big Ben three times last week, the government said.

The hands of the famous clock on the tower of the Houses of Parliament stopped at 5:11 a.m. Friday, which is about where they snagged on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

“We believe, as a result of investigations carried out this morning, that the problem is to do with a bearing in the eastern face of the clock, and that once that bearing has been replaced or lubricated, that the problem will go away,” said Toby Sargent, spokesman for the Department of Environment.

Big Ben is the name of the bell that tolls the hours, but the name is informally applied to the clock as well.


Sargent said it apparently was just a coincidence that the clock broke down during the hottest days of the London summer. On Thursday, the temperature reached 97 degrees.