BBC's wartime gambit to keep Big Ben bonging if Nazis scored a direct bomb hit

Mail Online | 9/2/2019 | Katherine Rushton Media And Technology Editor For The Daily Mail
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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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