Our Church

Our Church

Church Clock

Church Clock

 

 

The Church clock is probably the most important public timekeeper in Uckfield.

The Church Clock

The clock was made in 1883 and although on the clock’s setting dial it bears the name of a local man, Toogood, and the word Uckfield, it was, in fact, made by Thwaites and Reed of Clerkenwell in London.  It is typical of their design at this time and very similar to their clock in the Knightsbridge Barracks, London.

 

The clock features dials that are unusually placed, being on the out-built mountings on the sides of the spire.  Likewise the clock itself is also unusually mounted because it is above the bell-frame in the belfry and on a level with base of the spire.

 

Although constructed in 1883 it is of a particularly good design and the materials and workmanship are also uniformly good in quality.

 

The clock chimes the Westminster quarters (on each quarter hour) and strikes the hours.

 

Technical detail

 

The clock has a mechanism (or movement) that consists of a flat-bed frame containing three “trains” (or sets of wheels and pinions). 

 

 

 

Clock Mechanism

 

The timekeeping train, which is positioned centrally in the frame, has a deadbeat escapement and 1¼ seconds beat pendulum.

 

 

 

The second wheel of the train rotates once every hour and drives a bevel wheel that transmits the drive to the hands of the four external clock dials.

 

 

 

 

The main wheel of the timekeeping train is fitted with a “maintaining power” (a device that maintains the time of the clock whilst it is being wound – this is manually undertaken twice each week).  This “maintaining power” feature is of the “going ratchet” style invented by the famous horologist John Harrison.

 

The quarter chiming train (located on the right hand side of the frame) has its chiming-cam barrel mounted above the train on additional frame bars that also carry the levers that operate the chiming hammer draw cables.  A locking-plate mechanism controls the sequence of sounding the quarter bells and the speed of chiming is regulated by a two-vaned fly mechanism.  The (hour) striking train operates a single draw cable to one bell.  The number of strikes is controlled by a locking-plate mechanism similar to the chiming train.  This locking-plate has ‘locking notches’ cut on a flange projecting from the side of the wheel by which the locking-plate is driven.

 

The winding of the timekeeping train weight is carried out via a square ended winding key fitted to the barrel spindle.  The winding up of the quarter hour chiming bell weights and the hour striking bell weight is arranged to employ a reduction to ease the effort of winding up the very, very, heavy bell weights.  Along with the clock winding this task used to be carried out by hand twice each week, but the restoration work completed in November 2011 now means that both tasks are automatically completed.

 

A loyal team of Volunteers  assisted with the twice weekly winding until July 2011 when the Clock, the clock faces, and the winding mechanism under went complete restoration.

 

 

 

Bishop John of Chichester rededicated the Clock at a Service held at 12.00 noon on Thursday 16th February 2012.  The Service was held in the Church Yard with well over one hundred parishoners and sponsors of the restoration present.  After the Service the celebration continued in the Belmont Centre with a buffet lunch.