A bit temperamental
Big Ben's bongs behind the time by few seconds
Officials say the famous clock at Britain's Parliament — used by Londoners for decades to check the time — has recently been slow by as much as six seconds.
The 156-year-old clock chimes every 15 minutes and emits deep bongs to mark the hour. Its inaccuracy was noticed by staff at BBC radio, which broadcasts the bongs live at 6 p.m.
Ian Westworth, one of Parliament's three clocksmiths, told the BBC the clock had become "a little temperamental" with age.
"Imagine running your car for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the last 156 years," he said.
Parliamentary officials said Tuesday that mechanics had corrected the clock to within "normal parameters" — within 2 seconds of the right time. They will continue to adjust it by placing pennies on the pendulum — or removing them — to fine-tune its speed.
Parliament's neo-Gothic clock tower is one of London's most recognizable landmarks, and its bell is one of London's characteristic sounds.