Some kids are so conscientious they can't stand to hear about anything being wrong, broken or out of order, even if the broken thing is the clock attached to the Palace of Westminster in London.
When 8-year-old Phoebe Hanson learned Big Ben was going to be out of commission for up to three years as part of a $42 million clock mechanism repair job she, like many Londoners, dreaded the impending silence.
So she wrote to the BBC with a solution- she offered to stand in for the clock and shout "BONG!" until the repairs are done.
Her heartwarming letter earned her a return letter from the BBC, who had this to say about her idea:
“Re. Big Ben’s Bongs (lack of).
Dear Miss Hanson,
Thank you for your letter and your very imaginative idea about what to do when Big Ben falls silent for repairs early next year. Some of the cleverest and most important people at the BBC are scratching their heads, wondering quite what to do.
Once before, when Big Ben fell silent for repairs, we played different birdsong every evening. The listeners loved that. Then the people behind Tweet of the Day (that’s on each day just before 6 in the morning) stole our idea… so we can’t do that again.
I must say I was very much taken with your idea… and we have passed it on to those who make the decisions. As you know, the Bongs are live… and (you may not know this) the beginning of the Westminster Chimes (the bit that goes BimBom BimBom BimBobBimBom before the first BOOONNNGGGGGGGGGG!) is always at a slightly different time (which is why you sometimes hear someone accidentally talking when they start). It depends on things like temperature and atmospheric pressure and stuff like that.
So it would be quite a task for you, doing the Bongs: you’d have to rush in after school each day (and at the weekend), rush home for tea, homework, a bit of chillin’, then a quick sleep. And then – here’s the hard bit – you’d have to rush back again at midnight, because there are live bongs again before the midnight news. That’s an awful lot of work for someone who is still quite young. I know I wouldn’t like to do all that.
Thank you very much for writing to us. I’m very impressed that you listen to Radio 4. I wish my two children did.
Have a spiffing Christmas and a stupendous and lucky 2017.
Editor: PM, Broadcasting House, iPM – BBC Radio 4″
Maybe they should swap it out for one of those jumbotron screens?
-Via Warped Speed