Sir Lindsay Hoyle wastes no time helping to turn Parliament’s 2,000 clocks forward

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CREDIT: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has lent a hand in turning Parliament’s 2,000 clocks forward by one hour.

Westminster’s clockmaker Ian Westworth and his team usually take 24 hours to adjust the many clocks around the Palace of Westminster to British Summer Time, including Big Ben.

“There is really no excuse for any of us to be late in the Chamber or to a meeting when there are this many clocks dotted around Parliament, but it is certainly a Herculean task to get the time changed,” the Speaker of the House of Commons said.

“Ian and his two colleagues do an amazing job maintaining and winding up our clock collection – and as I have found out, it is an extremely time-consuming exercise.”

Mr Westworth and his team climb 334 steps inside the Elizabeth Tower to reset Big Ben and also visit six outbuildings to ensure that all of the clocks on the estate are changed.

Mr Westworth, 58, who works with clockmaker Huw Smith, 58, and a trainee, Alex Jeffrey, 33, says the absence of MPs, peers and staff due to Covid-19 restrictions has made it easier to identify failing clocks.

He said: “For the past year we have had free rein to remove and repair clocks from rooms that are usually full of people.

“It has meant we have done a roaring trade in clock restoration. It has certainly made the time fly.”

CREDIT: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor Handout photo issued by UK Parliament of Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, helping to adjust clocks in the Houses of Parliament in London for the start of British Summer Time. Issue date: Sunday March 28, 2021.

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