Page last updated at 09:16 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 10:16 UK

Children mark Big Ben's 150 years

Big Ben
The project aims to give children a glimpse behind the scenes

Children will get a chance to explore Big Ben in a year-long project marking the bell's 150th anniversary.

A series of workshops and educational activities have been organised to celebrate the central London bell.

Children will climb the belfry to watch Big Ben in action and produce a book, DVD and website on the subject.

The bell was cast at Whitechapel foundry on 10 April 1858 and was first rung in the Great Westmister Clock on 31 May the following year.

Activities celebrating Big Ben have been organised by the Guy Fox History Project charity. A spokeswoman said: "We plan to celebrate the story behind this grand achievement."

'Fascinating history'

Creative director Kourtney Harper said: "Everybody knows and loves Big Ben.

"But not many people know the fascinating history behind the Great Clock, the bell, and the clock tower."

Over the next 12 months children and volunteers will both explore Big Ben and research its history.

The book, DVD and website they produce aim to offer behind-the-scenes insights to people around the world.

Earlier this week Big Ben was named Britain's favourite landmark in a poll of more than 2,000 adults by construction firm Faithful and Gould.


video and audio news
Inside the bell foundry where Big Ben was cast



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