Posts In: Public

The Art of Time at the Royal Academy

May 24, 2018 Heritage, Public, Traditional

One of the latest London locations where we have restored timekeeping is The Royal Academy. We worked with John Sisk & Son on the newly refurbished Burlington Gardens towers. Each has a 1.7m diameter dial.    One dial is a conventional analogue clock, but the other is a wind indicator, with a pointer which is moved mechanically from the windvane above.   Whilst the wind-vane transmission was in good order and only required cleaning and lubrication, the vane itself was so weather-beaten that some parts had almost disappeared. Careful attention was paid to replicate these, particularly the finial which we…

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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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Smith of Derby and GDPR

April 3, 2018 Data, News, Public, Security, Time

Without our database, we would be unable to fulfil any of our customers’ needs. Every clock assignment, whether new build or restoration, is a unique project specific to a client and also specific to a location. We also serve over 4,000 UK clients every year on maintenance contracts, again by visiting a specific clock site. Close liaison with at least one person for every clock we deal with is therefore central to our operations. Our database holds 2 kinds of information: the clock itself and its location and access information – that is the physical or mechanical details. The other…

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Our Easter Message: a Moment in Time

March 29, 2018 News, Public, Seasons, Spring, Time

Lambs are a reminder of time, seasons and renewal of life. Our picture shows a first sign of spring amid the last of winter. A moment in time – to appreciate our wonderful world.

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Clocks all changed

March 29, 2018 Church, Heritage, News, Public, Time, Traditional

All has gone well with our clock altering visits. Matthew S finished the rounds in the South East at Richmond Town Hall: whilst at the other end of the UK (almost), Craig P moved time forward an hour at Leslie St. Marys Church in Fife.

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Clock servicing progress report

March 29, 2018 Church, Heritage, Public, Time, Traditional

With Spring now on our doorstep, we are pleased to report that Smith of Derby’s Clockmakers are busier than ever carrying out the annual servicing of clocks throughout the UK, ensuring the clocks remain in good working order and keep us all in touch with time. We would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in having your clock serviced. Please call: Jane 01332 257101 jane.fenton@smithofderby.com

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Clocks All Change This Weekend

March 22, 2018 Heritage, News, Public, Time, Traditional

With summer time changeover fast approaching, we are being kept very busy. This year we will be putting the time forward an hour on 155 tower clocks. That’s a small number compared to the 4,000 or so we look after altogether. Some of our clients do the clock altering themselves, and many of the modern electrically driven clocks have automatic changeover. On average it takes half an hour to change the time on each clock. The gears have to be released and moved to put the clock forward one hour in the spring. It takes a bit longer for the…

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Cathedral of St. Jude, Lagos

March 21, 2018 Church, Heritage, Public, Time, Traditional

Located in Ebutu Metta, Lagos, the Cathedral of St. Jude had become derelict following the construction of a new building. When Bishop Akinpelu Johnson was appointed, his aim was to redevelop the old cathedral and make it a focal point of the community once again. He believed that a new clock would be key to the refurbishment. After several years of fund raising and acquiring a local sponsor, the Bishop chose Smith of Derby to design, manufacture and install three new dials and a bell sound system. Our team built three 2.5m clock faces: opal acrylic dials with raised metal…

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Case Study: Kings Cross Platform 8

March 7, 2018 Heritage, Public, Traditional

Client: Network Rail Location: Kings Cross Station, London Size: 2m diameter Materials: Gold leaf, acrylic paint, brass, illumination Date: 2012 Project code: 28069 Known fondly as the Harry Potter clock by fans who visit Kings Cross Station. Restored in 2012, it was originally two separate dials, separated by steel rods and located astride a footbridge. Taking its cue from the elusive platform 9 3/4, the footbridge disappeared. The clock, however, winged its way to our workshops, where within earshot of trains on the adjacent main railway line it would feel quite at home. We then worked our own magic, designing and…

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Training for all our clockmakers

February 28, 2018 Heritage, Public, Time, Traditional

Whether new to clockmaking or having years of experience, all our clockmakers have a wealth of knowledge. Our training programme is designed to share the strengths of each member of the team, which builds close working relationships as well as just learning about clocks. Aaran is new to the world of clockmaking but it was no surprise that his engineering expertise enabled him to have one of our showpiece clock movements dismantled then up and running again in what seemed like no time at all, and he even found handling the delicate gold leaf a breeze. Meanwhile Steve and Gavin…

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