After installing two new automatic winding units to a very early blacksmiths traditional wooden clock at Upper Dean. We have now installed a pendulum regulator to the clock.
“Time Assured provided an excellent service when we could find no-one else prepared to work on our ancient blacksmith’s traditional wooden frame clock. They kept us well informed of work schedules and appointment times, always turned up when they said they would and gave clear indications of the work needed to complete the repairs. We have retained them to complete an annual service on the clock and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”
The church of All Saints at Mappleton stands just inland from the sea. It is an essentially Victorian church, with a striking steeple built of stone salvaged from a shipwreck. The church was roofless in 1854 when a ship bearing a load of Tadcaster stone ran aground at Mappleton. The people of Mappleton were not slow to seize upon the bounty of the sea, and completed the roof and spire with the stone flotsam.
The project was to return the clock to working order, because it had not been running for some time. Also the dials were painted silver, with no gold leaf. Our clockmakers dismantled the clock, de-greased and polished all the bearings and pinions. The dials were removed and the original paint removed. The dials were then powder coated and gilded with gold leaf. The clock was fitted with Automatic Winding to the going and hour strike, and a pendulum regulator to keep the clock correct and automatically change for summer and winter time changes.
The clock at St Georges’s Telford is a J.B.Joyce of Whitchurch, this had originally been converted to Automatic Winding some time ago. These motors have now failed to operate, and the clock has not been going for some time. We were asked to provide a solution to bring the clock back into working condition.
This was to completely dismantle the clock for cleaning, polish all the pivots and bearings, re-assemble and lubricate with the correct lubricant. The original Automatic Winding Units were removed and new units fitted that comply with Church Care guidelines.
We were also to provide a solution to keep the clock showing the correct time. This was completed by fitting an Automatic Regulator.
We were asked by St Mary’s Church in Rawmarsh to inspect the dial motion works. The church had reported that one of the minute hands seemed to go past the hour and move on several minutes. The church had scaffold around the tower for other works, which gave us access to the hands on the outside of the clock tower.
We could not find any problems that warranted any repairs. But with the scaffold in place this gave the church the opportunity for the hands to be removed and the dial motion works to be dismantled, inspected, cleaned and re-lubricated.
All the hands were removed followed by the dial motion works. They were completely dismantled cleaned and de-greased. All the bearings and pivots polished. They were then all re-greased, reassembled and fitted back into the dial bars. The hands were the refitted and the clock set going again.
Occasionally it is required when repairing clocks to work at height or access clock dials and bells that are awkward to get to. Sometimes scaffolding which can be quite expensive is required, however using roped access can be a safe and cost effective alternative.
In order to be able to use roped access a clockmaker is required to undergo and pass rigorous training with IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association). This certification lasts three years before it is required to be renewed.
Health and Safety regulations require that a second person is on site at all times that roped access is being undertaken. This is to ensure that should the situation arise, the emergency services can be called promptly without delay.
Roped Access safety methods can also be deployed in other situations such as a secondary safety backup system when using ladders. This is illustrated in the series of photographs below highlighting the servicing of a Church Bell and associated striking equipment. The equipment was situated on the top of a very steep Church roof. Although a ladder and roof ladder was used as the primary means of access, whilst a secondary backup safety system was employed using a safety harness and secured ropes. A catapult fired a line over the Church roof and this was used to pull a rope over the roof which was then securely tied. The clockmaker used the rope secured to his harness as a backup safety system while attending to the bell equipment from a roof ladder.
The safety of our clockmakers is paramount and this also gives peace of mind not only to ourselves but also to our customers.