The Clock


The hands are driven by a turret clock housed on a wooden platform high above the clock chamber floor, over the doorway giving access to the nave roof.  There is a document from 1712 permitting the residue of funds left over after the completion of the tower to be used to install a clock and repave the tower floor. 

However, the present clock does not date back to 1712.  Experts’ opinion in 2011 suggested that this clock shows similarities with others made by Whitehurst of Derby, from around 1780 or later. It has a typically north Midlands type ‘arm-chair’ (or double framed) strike with time keeping by pendulum through an anchor recoil escapement. The pendulum is offset to the right-hand side and acts remote to the clock with a pivot linkage. The compensation pendulum is about 10ft. 3in. from its clamp to the centre of the adjustable bob mass.  It swings at 18 cycles per minute. It has an hour striking train which was disabled and the clock hammer removed from the tenor bell in July 2007.

 A document issued by W. & J. Taylor, listing the clocks that they had supplied, includes one for Badby with one dial. This would most likely be contemporary with the new tenor bell that Taylors cast in 1822. The clock does not have the usual Taylor characteristics so it is likely that it was sold on to Badby by Taylors, a common practice at the time, and hence included in their list.

After 30 years service, Mr Parsons, the last sexton, resigned in 1933.  Afterwards the clock was often stopped because nobody wound it. Around 1951, a continuous chain or rope link was installed to allow it to be wound from the ringing chamber and thus saved the climb up the tower.  This itself was not very reliable as ropes came off the pulleys. The civil Parish Council refused to contribute to the repair cost of 150gnsHowever in 1965 it was converted to electrical winding by Stan Hartshorn, who was both on the civil Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council.  He was an electrical engineer who during the last half of the 20th century lived in The Old House and then in the adjacent barn conversion, south of the church. The mechanism was overhauled by Gillett & Johnston (Croydon) Limited and the electrical winding system was modified in 2007.

church clock mechanism

church clock mechanism

 The drive drum is at the left and the redundant hour-strike drum to the right. The pendulum is at back right. The rod drive to the one clock face runs straight away from the mechanism through the east wall to theclock face.


When Stan Hartshorn electrified the clock winding system he also installed solenoid hammers for each bell and made a control system which enabled the bells, when hanging mouth downwards, to sound the ‘Westminster’ quarter chimes and also to be chimed or tolled automatically from a control panel in the vestry.

In 2007 a replacement control system was installed inside the clock case and linked to the national radio-controlled time signal in Cumbria by the Croydon firm. This uses the fifth bell for the hour strikes. 
The circuit board panel failed in August 10, 2014, blamed on the deterioration of the DC solenoid hammers. 

A replacement control board was installed in the bell chamber,  the original solenoid hammers replaced with new AC units and the chimes were set going again on July 29, 2015. 

The control panel is still in the vestry with wiring to the bell chamber, where the control unit sets off the solenoid-operated hammers on individual bells.
A switch by the spiral staircase doorway in the ringing chamber allows the chime hammers to be disabled while the bells are rung full-circle. 
GHP 8/9/15


The second edition of ‘A History of Badby Church’ gives much more detail.  Usually available from the church during daylight hours for £3. 

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