Posts In: Uncategorized

The Old Joe Clocktower

December 11, 2018 Uncategorized

The University of Birmingham boasts the tallest free-standing clock tower in the world at the heart of its campus, commonly known as ‘Old Joe’ or ‘Big Joe’. In 2017 Old Joe fell silent as the Smith of Derby Group carried out repairs to the strike side of the clock so the famous chimes could be heard across campus once again.   The tower has also had other practical purposes over the last 113 years, since it was built in 1905 when the four JB Joyce clock dials were first commisioned. It was originally designed with the physics department in mind to…

Continue Reading

Constructionline Gold Accreditation Awarded

September 28, 2018 Uncategorized

We are proud to announce that we have recently been awarded Constructionline Gold Membership here at Smith of Derby. This is something which we are delighted to have achieved, as it comes through intense scrutiny on both governance and risk management. The Constructionline Gold award assess environmental management, quality management, equalities and diversity. It ensures contractors abide legislation in areas such as modern slavery, anti-bribery and corruption. Whilst health and safety is also reviewed through the ‘deemed to satisfy’ process if you have an SSIP accreditation such as CHAS or SafeContractor already in place.

Continue Reading

BHI Turret Clock Forum

September 12, 2018 Uncategorized

Last week was the annual staging of the BHI Turret Clock Forum at Upton Hall, Newark. Martin Butchers and Tom Ratcliffe attended on behalf of Smith of Derby to discuss all things turret clocks! The pair listened to various speakers including BHI chairman Derek Frampton along with turret clock specialists Andy Burdon and Chris McKay, who is also a familiar face at our Smith of Derby works developing our clockmaker apprentices to become the best they can possibly be. This year’s forum was focused on conservation, something which is vitally important in the turret clock sector. Restoration projects must balance…

Continue Reading

Read More

The Hourglass Clock at Burghley House

September 3, 2018 News, Uncategorized

As the Burghley Horse Trials come to an end for another year, we look back to 2009 and our work at Burghley House, Lincolnshire, which is a major landmark at the prestigious equestrian event. We were asked to design, fabricate and install a feature clock for the house gardens, which would allude to the seafaring ancestry of the Burghley family, in whose gardens the timepiece is located. The hourglass pedestal bears 12 icons which correspond with each passing hour. They correlate with specific stories relating to members of the family including Lord Burghley, English statesman and friend to Queen…

Continue Reading

Harrison Clock, Derby Silk Mill Museum

August 14, 2018 Uncategorized

In late 2017 Smith of Derby were tasked to remove the Harrison mechanical clock from the Derby Silk Mill Museum and complete a full restoration. Following this the clock dial and mechanism will be reinstated at the silk mill museum in 2020 when the buildings renovation is completed. The team tasked with the works are our apprentices, Tom and Sam, who are overseeing the project from start to finish. To help them with the project, clock advisor Chris McKay has been on site giving them both advise on various parts of the works, which will also help develop their knowledge…

Continue Reading

Keeping Time: film follows clockmaker during ‘clock change’

March 20, 2018 Uncategorized

: This short was made by filmmaker Nick Whitworth. Nick notes that ‘Many of us know that the clocks change twice a year to account for Daylight Saving Time but few are probably aware of just what this entails. Behind the dials and hands visible from street level there are levers, wheels, hammers, and weights. Here we follow Matthew Smith, long-serving clockmaker at Smith of Derby, as he carries out alterations on mechanical clocks across London.’ Nick is one of the eight members of the sixth generation descended from the John Smith who started the company. Most of them have…

Continue Reading

Case Study: Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah

February 8, 2018 Creative, Public, Time, Uncategorized

Designer: Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) Location: UAE Size: 6 metres in height Materials: bronze, stainless steel, etched glass and champagne gold leaf Date: 2015 Project code: 31974 We were proud to fabricate the centrepiece lobby clock for the opulent reception at the Waldorf Astoria Luxury hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Smith of Derby Ltd was engaged to create the centrepiece by leading London design practice, Hirsch Bedner Associates, (HBA). Seen by hotel guests who have travelled from around the world, the clock stands at over six metres high and is regarded as a golden masterpiece. Culturally rich in design,…

Continue Reading

Case Study: University of Leeds Faculty of Engineering

February 8, 2018 Creative, News, Public, Time, Uncategorized

Client: University of Leeds Location: Leeds, UK Size: 2.4m overall diameter Materials: Aluminum and LED illumination Date: 2017 Product code: 36381 We were commissioned to create a bespoke clock for the University of Leeds Faculty of Engineering as part of their renovation in 2017. Working with tones of white, brown and black, a design was developed that fitted seamlessly within the scheme. The raised illuminated ring markers on the clock responded to the main lighting which featured on the ceiling. This design device helps to bring coherence to the whole refurbished building. This 2.4 m diameter clock was created at…

Continue Reading

Case Study: Edinburgh Morningside Pillar Clock

February 8, 2018 Uncategorized

Client: Edinburgh City Council Location: Edinburgh, UK Materials: Restored using TBC Size: 2 x 2ft 5 dials Date: 2017 Project code: 33501 Originally built adjacent to Morningside train station, this historic clock is a much loved local landmark of the Edinburgh town of Morningside. Built by James Ritchie & Son, now one of our partners, we transported the clock to our Derby workshop to dismantle and restore the clock with care, piece by piece. The dials, case and decorative surround were carefully removed by our highly skilled clockmakers, ensuring every piece was inspected and cleaned before being restored.  Restored using…

Continue Reading

Case Study: 8 Salisbury Square

February 8, 2018 Creative, Public, Time, Uncategorized

Architect: TP Bennett Location: London, UK Size: 4.5 x 3.5m Materials: Bronze & LED illumination Date: 2017 Project code: 34999 Working closely with TP Bennett architects, we were commissioned to create a contemporary exterior clock for 8 Salisbury Square, London. The design of this state-of-the-art clock was created by our innovative design team, in accordance with the architects specification. Our highly skilled clockmakers then manufactured the 4.5m x 3.5m clock with care and transported the finished feature to the contractors who were manufacturing the wall panels. It was pre-installed on these prior to arrival at its final home, 8 Salisbury…

Continue Reading