When the bells stop chiming we will lose a little bit of time itself.

The bells of Elizabeth Tower (including Big Ben) will fall silent on 21 August for four years while they undergo a £29m refurbishment.

The bells have chimed for 157 years and have rarely missed a beat in that time.

The unmistakeable sound was first broadcast around the world live on BBC radio to herald the start of 1924.

Since then Radio 4 has been bringing the comforting bongs to us live every evening at 6pm.

The bizarre quirk of technology though means that they’re pre-live. If you were to stand at the foot of the tower with an FM radio to your ear, you would hear the bells through the radio first as an FM frequency travels faster than the speed of sound.

Making you theoretically a time traveller.

What a wonderful thing radio is.

We love writing for it as it allows us to paint amazing and emotive pictures in the mind for very little budget. Having written hundreds of scripts over the years (there’s a few you can listen to here) and won the odd award or two along the way, we’re massive advocates of this captivating medium in the face of all the new technology challengers.

Forget your deep mining data analysis and pixel counters for a minute, who wouldn’t want a message delivered on a time machine?