Automatic winding and timekeeping

February 27, 2018 Heritage, Public, Time, Traditional

A spiral staircase which will be climbed a little less from now on.

Smith of Derby automatic winding and time regulation comes with an unseen but vitally important feature as standard – the facility to remove the new equipment without a trace should the clock ever be required in its former historical state. So at All Hallows Church in Walkington, East Yorkshire, the original winding handle is being carefully saved – just in case. In the meantime the long serving team of clock winders will be able to enjoy a well earned retirement.

Keeping a clock wound up is hard work, but an easy task for our autowind units with battery backup. Keeping it to time requires less muscle power but can be tricky. That’s where our system comes in. With the clock running ever so slightly fast – not so much as you would notice over an hour or two – it gives the mechanism a chance to effect a brief pause when needed to wait for “real time” to catch up. It’s a simple idea, but behind it is some clever programming so that whatever might cause the timekeeping to vary (and seasonal changes always have an effect), the clock will always be kept in check so that over days, weeks, months and years(!) there is no visible drift from accurate time. What about summer/winter time changes? Easy – the system is set to pause for exactly 11 hours (or spring forward) and one hour (fall back) on the appropriate dates.

As Walkington Life editor explains: Just as ‘Brexit means Brexit’ then Automated means Automated. You can read the full account here: and check out our video on how the pendulum regulator works here: (links open in new tabs).

About the author

Liz Butler: For more information please contact: Liz Butler 07800 689430 or Jane Arnold 07800 689410.