Posts In: Restoration

Apprentice Clockmakers work with the Museum of Making

March 13, 2019 News

Apprentices at Smith of Derby have been busy restoring Derby’s historic Harrison clock for installation in the new Museum of Making when it re-opens to the public in 2020. First installed at Derby Guildhall in 1842, the Harrison turret clock dates back to the same period. Its movement was designed by clockmaker, James Harrison of Hull (1792-1875), the great-grandnephew of John (Longitude) Harrison (1693-1776) who famously invented the marine chronometer to calculate longitude at sea. Derby’s Harrison clock was retired from the Guildhall in 1976 and moved to the former Industrial Museum as a non-working exhibit where it later went into…

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Woodfield Pavilion Clock and Wind Vane

February 25, 2019 News

The ‘Woodfield Project’ in Tooting, London is focused on re developing an existing recreation ground back to former glory. Part of the project is a small turret, which now features both a clock and wind vane made by Smith of Derby. The pavilion and recreation ground, originally opened in 1933, were created to offer a sports ground and changing facilities for young people in the area.  After many years of use it was taken over by a local school to meet their need for a sporting facility, however in recent years the school have moved on and the Tooting site…

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Saltoun House Sundials Restoration

December 18, 2018 News

Situated between the villages of Pencaitland and East Saltoun lay the historic Saltoun Hall, a 12th century tower and castle, two traditional clock dials along with a sun dial and an astrological dial.  The dials, which are located on the turret at the hall, were in abeyance for several years before James Ritchie Clockmakers restored them and brought them back to working order. Following the removal of the four dials from the East Lothian location, they were transported to the Smith of Derby Group’s base in the midlands for the process to begin. The first step was to strip back the…

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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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Jubilee Clock Tower Restoration, Weymouth

August 28, 2018 Public, Traditional

As the summer draws to a close and Autumn gets closer, we look back at one of our most famous projects, which will have been seen by an unprecedented number of visitors during this record-breaking summer. The Jubilee Clock Tower, Weymouth. The Jubilee Clock tower is steeped in both history and tradition, standing on the esplanade of Weymouth, at the heart of the Dorset coastline. However, the clock originally stood closer to the beach before the esplanade was expanded and the clock tower was moved further back from the sand to protect it from the many weather fronts. The original…

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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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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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