What is the Speaking Clock?

  • 26 July 2011
A clock
Image caption There's a Speaking Clock - but it's not this one!

What do you use to check the time - your watch, or maybe your mobile? Well did you know there's a Speaking Clock?

Loads of people still use the Speaking Clock - there are 30 million calls to it each year.

You dial 123 on your phone and a recorded voice tells you the exact time every ten seconds.

The call's not free - you'll get a charge on your bill - but the time that it gives you is very accurate.

And it's pretty popular when people what to know the exact time - like at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jane Cain - the first voice of the clock.

It started 75 years ago in 1936 - for people who didn't have a clock or watch nearby.

The Speaking Clock gets its time from the super-accurate clocks at the National Physics Lab - who are the UK's official time-keeper.

And Big Ben, the bell of the huge clock next to the River Thames in London, checks its time with the Speaking Clock too!