When our clockmaker Tim Reynolds began working on the restoration of the clock at Handsworth St. Mary’s Church, he quickly realised that he would need workshop help. The transmission to the external hands had seized completely, and required a workshop repair, so it was decided to send the affected parts to Derby. That meant that the hands could be re-gilded at Derby too.
Handsworth old seized up hands
Handsworth transmission – new parts for hands connection
Original Victorian hands re-gilded in our workshop
The hands are an especially elegant design, and pre-date the clock drive unit which was renewed with an electric drive type in 1956. It’s likely that the hands and dial date from a Victorian refurbishment of the church building. Newly restored, these Handsworth hands are set to keep turning for another 140 years or so.
Handsworth St. Mary’s is sometimes referred to as The Cathedral of the Industrial Revolution, and houses memorials to three great names of the industrial age: Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch. All three were members of the Lunar Society which met at Boulton’s nearby home, Soho House. Another member of the Lunar Society was clockmaker and scientist John Whitehurst, to whom Smith of Derby can trace their origins.