75 years of the speaking clock

Sara Mendes de Costa Voice of the Speaking Clock Photo credit BBC News

When I was young I used to call 1611 for the time here in Singapore. The BBC has just run a fascinating article on that service in the UK, known as the speaking clock, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. According to the piece the speaking clock is accurate “to within five thousandths of a second” because it gets its time signal from the atomic clocks at the National Phyiscal Laboratory. But I’d  assume there is a small error in the time since it is read out to the caller, which takes a few seconds. The article notes the service still gets 30 million calls each year despite the internet, mobile phones and GPS. Who’d have imagined that?


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