The Clock Chamber

Church of St Nicholas, Great Wakering

Article by Richard Kirton 25th February 2012

The Church Clock was installed to commemorate the coronation of King George V in 1911 and was made by Thwaites & Reed of Clerkenwell, London in 1913.  Parts of the clock were made by Edward King of Shoeburyness whose name appears on the dial. In 1961, the clock was repaired by R J Yeo of Rochford who in 1977 also restored and repainted the dials to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The clock has no springs. The mechanism is controlled by two weights consisting of a series of smaller weights, attached to wires that run out from the clock and down inside the tower in a special wooden casing. As the pendulum swings, the weights gradually descend over seven days, turning the clock's gears. On the seventh day, the appointed winder winds the weights back to the clock and the process begins again.

Mark Weber has been winding the clock since April 2007 and I met him at the church today along with Tim Baskett the Tower Captain of the Bell Ringers. Prior to that the clock had been stuck at ten to seven since January 2007 since the volunteer winder gave up the responsibility without any explanation, after four years.

Harry Morris, the Clerk of Great Wakering Parish Council at the time, is quoted in the ‘Evening Echo’ newspaper (Tuesday 6th March 2007) as having said “A Volunteer had been winding the clock up once a week for about four years and that it would be a challenge to find the right person to do the job as it involved maintenance that could be a little tricky”. He also said “It is not just a case of winding the clock up. You need to know how to adjust it if there are any problems. It has to be done every week and, because it is inside the church, the person has to be respectful”.

Previous clock winders have been Councillor Graham Fox and before him, Bill Everett. By ‘Left Clicking’ on the photograph above there is a small gallery of other photographs showing the positioning and workings of the clock.

Church of St Nicholas - Clock Chamber Barling & Wakering Heritage

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