A PR person contacted me on behalf of a money website with one of the daftest images I have seen in a long time.

They produced a range of “cross-section illustrations that reveal what goes on beneath the surface” of some famous buildings.

But oh my god, what on earth are they playing at.

They all have significant errors, but Big Ben, what have they done to Big Ben?

They show it with a huge boiler room in the base, a warehouse, what looks like two libraries, and two meeting rooms, then a grand chamber below the clock face.

Anyone who has ever been in the tower, or done even the most cursory research into it knows that it is just a tall tower with a staircase running up around the outside walls, a big long drop in the middle (for the bell) and apart from a few small rooms around the edges on the way up, not much else.

Even the scale is totally wrong – as the people in the tower are midgets as the Tower is shown about three times wider than in real life.

This looks like some bizarre steam punk style invention. A total fantasy that was then gushingly reprinted by a newspaper of dubious moral standards as a “fascinating illustration”.

I can only presume that lots of people working in Parliament got a good giggle out of it.

As the PR person, who I initially ignored but he chased, hence this put-down, said in his email… “it’s London as you’ve never seen it before – that is unless you have X-ray vision”

…and an exceptionally vivid imagination.

Sorry QuidCorner, but you need a better PR agency.

Yes, I know it’s the Elizabeth Tower, but everyone calls it Big Ben, so deal with it.


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  1. No one’s going to ever call it Elizabeth Tower, except for sycophantic MPs. Big Ben forever!

  2. Dave Smith says:

    To be a bit of a pedant! – it was called st Stephen’s Tower (now renamed). The bell was called Big Ben – possibly after Sir Benjamin Hall.

    • ianvisits says:

      To out-pedant a pedant, the Clock Tower was never called St Stephen’s Tower – that’s a myth.

      The bell is officially called The Great Bell of Westminster, and I wrote about the nickname attribution here.

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