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The ‘bongs’ of Big Ben have been a fixture on the news for decades, often serving as a reminder of a strong government in times of chaos.
But it has emerged that the BBC had a scheme to ensure they kept on chiming even if the Houses of Parliament came under attack from German bombers in the Second World War.
Material - Reveals - Plans - Sound - Big
Newly released archive material reveals plans to replace the sound of Big Ben with a recorded version especially designed to fool the enemy.
During the conflict, the corporation routinely aired live ‘bongs’, risking the background sound of planes buzzing overhead had an attack happened.
Bongs - Germans - Aircraft - Westminster - Signals
But the false bongs would have made it harder for the Germans to establish if their aircraft had reached Westminster safely – especially if radio signals were being interfered with.
Coincidentally, a version of the BBC plan has actually been put in place 80 years later with recordings now routinely aired during the current maintenance works.
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