In for repair: The 1682 Yetminster Parish Clock

May 16, 2023 Church, Heritage, Public

Clockmaker Mitch here talks us through the repair work he’s carried out to the 1682 Clock of St Andrews Church, Yetminster in Dorset.

        “It’s been a real challenge this clock, there’s been lots to do on it, but it’s been a great one to work on.”⁠

Mitch describes how:⁠ “The clock was taken out by Paul and Joe and brought into the Works and we’ve carried out a full repair of the clock. ⁠

We’ve fitted Sprockets for the new Autowinds to both the Going and the Strike side.⁠

The clock was in a pretty bad way. There was major wear to every single Bush and we’ve redone all of these, making Gunmetal LG2 inserts. The previous Bushes were made of a softer brass and lasted 50 years and the one’s we’ve fitted we’d expect to last a lot longer than this.⁠

One of the Lantern Pinions had snapped, but we managed to save it and weld it making a repair.⁠


The Escapement had received a lot of wear, especially on the near side.⁠

So we’ve made a new Escapement for the clock. To do this we scanned the old one to get the correct sizing and have rectified the imperfections in the teeth in the new one, made of gunmetal.

The wear on the Escapement looks to have been caused by excessive play in the Crutch arbour, so we have reduced this play by tightening the Pallet Release.⁠

Here’s the Fly Vane and you can see we’ve repaired the Click on it. When the strike train stops the Fly Vane discharges the energy in a regulated manner so its not surprising the Click needed repairing.⁠

There was a lot of wear to the Locating Square here, so we’ve made a new one on the milling machine. We peened it to give it the appearance of the others so they match and this repeated impact also strengthens the joints as it makes the properties of the metal harder.

There is also a nice inscription on the plaque on the clock:

“Thomas Bartholomew of Sherborne fecit (he made). Benjamin Coome. Thomas Stone. William Bishop. Church wardens of the Parish of Yetminster *1682*”⁠


About the author

Nicholas Whitworth: