24th July marked a very special anniversary for one of the nation’s most popular time references – the BT speaking clock. The ‘clock’ marked its 75th birthday by reuniting past ‘voice of the clock’ Brian Cobby with current ‘voice’ Sarah Mendes Da Costa.
Brian now 81 also provided the 5-4-3-2-1 opening countdown for the sixties show Thunderbirds. He was replaced in 2006 by Ms Da Costa who beat more than 18,400 other hopefuls who entered a competition in support of the charity Children In Need. The two other permanent voices of the clock since its introduction in 1936, Telephone operators Ethel Cain and Pat Simmons, have since passed away.
The last re-recording was needed to remove the sponsorship message from Accurist watches when the company decided to cease its sponsorship.
The clock also had a special use during the Cold War when the circuit in use for the...