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On the 5th August 1976 Big Ben, the Great Clock at the top of St Stephen's Tower of the Palace of Westminster was almost destroyed as a result of metal fatigue. A shaft broke as the clock started to chime which led to the total destruction of the chiming mechanism as the heavy weight (over a tonne of metal) fell faster and faster. Clockmakers had to remake the chiming train from scratch which took almost one year to complete. Read more