Our 234 year old John Thwaite birdcage clock was reinstalled yesterday, following a two month absence whilst important refurbishment work was carried out to ensure it continues telling the time here for at least another 234 years!
The clock was taken away and maintained by its original manufacturers, Thwaite’s and Reed, the world’s oldest firm of clock-makers still in business. As part of the refurbishment they carried out the following works:
Escape Wheel (this connects the clock with the pendulum, regulating the clock)
- A second short tooth has been replaced and the wheel cleaned and bearings replaced
- This has had the bushes replaced. In testing it became apparent that a counterweight will need fitting in the Clocktower, to reduce the power of the clock (which has caused unnecessary wear and tear over the last 234 years).
- These have been cleaned and rebalanced
- This has been repaired (a bent pin had caused the strikes to become irregular)
Pallet Arbor (axle that transfers motion from the pendulum to escapement)
Strike activation lever (connecting the bell to the clock)
We are extremely grateful to Ray Tuthill, the clock’s keeper and president of the RSAF Apprentices’ Association for his attention to detail in noticing errors in the clock’s regulation, alerting us to the fact work needed carrying out. We would also like to thank the team from Thwaite’s and Reed who responded swiftly and carried out a very thorough job in restoring the clock to full working order.
Here are some images of the refurbishment process