Posts In: Church

Emmanual Church Restoration Project

April 16, 2019 Church, News

The three 1.2m dials which adorn the clock tower at Emmanual Church, Shelley, were recently restored after first been installed over eighty years ago. The work, which was part of a large project at the Church, was a great success and the dials are now looking ‘as good as new’. The clock at Shelley Church was originally donated by Mr. and Mrs. E Auckland to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary in 1935. The clock and dials were fabricated and installed by local company William Potts of Leeds, who are now part of the Smith of Derby Group. In late 2018 Smith…

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Clock Changing at Smith of Derby

October 31, 2018 Church, News, Public

As the majority of the nation enjoyed an extra hour in bed, there was no rest for our clockmakers as they began the monumental task of altering public clocks across the UK. Of course, it’s not all public clocks which have to be changed manually, there are more pendulum regulators being used thus meaning less work for our clockmakers when it comes to this time of year. However, it is still a major operation which involves accurate planning and a dedicated team of clockmakers. “The planning for this operation starts in the height of summer as routes are planned and…

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Local clock repair at St Georges Church, Ticknall

October 25, 2018 Church, Heritage, News, Public

We are very proud of the work we undertake and working with local Derbyshire communities will always be special to us because of our history within the local area. These works at Ticknall Village Church were no different, with the church located just 14 miles from our Alfreton Road premises in Derby. Our works at the Church started by removing the original Whitehurst clock and bringing it back to our local Derby workshop for repair. The clock repairs included fitting a new count wheel and pins to the clock which will ensure chiming accuracy on the hour. Along with this,…

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Supporting the AHS Turret Clock Group Database

October 19, 2018 Church, News

The Antiquarian Horological Society’s Turret Clock Group have been working for some years on a database. This will provide a unique research tool and make a huge contribution to the conservation of our turret clock heritage.    It already holds around 4000 records thanks to a few dedicated and generous souls. But the next big step requires the inputting of large amounts of existing data, covering thousands of clocks. This can only be done with some paid assistance, costing in the region of £3000, which is beyond the scope of the group’s resources. The Council of the Antiquarian Horological Society…

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Proud to restore time on Memorial Clock Tower Coalville Leicestershire

October 8, 2018 Church, Heritage, Public, Traditional

A specialist restoration project of the Memorial Clock Tower in Coalville, which included the overhaul of the 4 5ft skeleton dials which occupy the Grade II listed tower on the High Street, Leicestershire. North West Leicestershire District Council approached Smith of Derby, British Clockmaker Tower specialists to inspect the clock and dial works whilst scaffolding was already in place for masonry, steelwork and roofing repairs. The clock tower is an important landmark for the Coalville community and it was an opportune moment to clean and repair the dials. Martin Butchers, Smith of Derby Technical Sales Engineer, carried out the inspection…

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Clocks in the media

August 6, 2018 Church, Heritage, News, Public, Time, Traditional

The interest in both our clocks and clockmakers has been phenomenal of late, with some of our clockmakers feeling more like celebrities than craftsman! Stories have been run by several local BBC Radio shows, a local newspaper in the Scottish highlands and even a snippet on the local ITV news in Devon.  Whilst on a recent trip to the island of Jersey, clockmaker Paul Kilburn was maintaining clock at the Holy Trinity church when BBC Radio Jersey approached him for an interview. The interview explained Paul’s work at the church, and gave an overview of Smith of Derby. Not long after Paul…

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Automatic Clock-Winding for St Magnus Cathedral, Scotland

The St Magnus Cathedral clock has been hand wound for the last 100 years, following the installation of the clock in 1919. Smith of Derby were asked to add automatic clock-winding technology, meaning custodians and stonemasons will no longer have to wind this by hand. Originally a James Ritchie timepiece, we were delighted to be asked to carry out the adaptations to the clock at this famous Scottish Cathedral. Along with the automatic winding technology we installed, a pendulum regulator was also added. This ensures the clock will keep the perfect time as the regulator monitors the clock through a built…

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Our latest winding and timekeeping units are now museum pieces!

Automatic winding has been applied to tower clocks for over 100 years. Over that time the equipment has culminated in our current model – the AW10 system. Automatic winding can now be partnered with automatic timekeeping, using our PAR 100 unit. By careful setting of the pendulum speed and programmed pausing, it keeps the clock within precise time year-on-year. Power to both winding and timekeeping are powered via a single power supply control unit with battery backup, with low voltage supply to the working units. This enhances safety and guards against any problem caused by power failures. Winding and timekeeping…

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Conserving Public Time: stories behind the faces

There’s more behind a clock dial than meets the eye. All have subtle differences, more so in the mechanisms. And much like their buildings, when getting old clocks need more looking after. Since 1856, Smith of Derby has come to know thousands of public clocks quite intimately, whilst their new generation of clockmaking apprentices hone the skills essential to keep them ticking. Behind Smith’s name is a history of partnerships. William Potts of Leeds dates from 1833; James Ritchies clocks have graced Scotland’s landmarks since 1809, and J B Joyce began in Shropshire in 1690. Putting their years of experience…

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Certified Safe

Today we received renewal our Safe Contractor Accreditation from Alcumus. Alcumus provides technology-led compliance risk management, certification and accreditation services, supporting both UK and International clients with their Testing, Inspection & Certification (TIC) and Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) strategies. Our accreditation covers all our safety critical work, which includes working at height, on scaffolding and using rope access. All our clockmakers are fully safety trained in these areas, as well as first aid and general heath and safety procedures. This is vital in our work with tower clocks. Access is often via steep stairs and ladders, and clock gears…

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