Purbrook’s Gillett and Johnston Tower Clock

The drainpipe channels the rope of the two bell through the clock. On the floor is the silent hours solenoid and the bicycle chain drives the  electromechanical winding.

The clock is of the order of 130 years old. Previously to the instalation of the ‘new’ Whitechapel Bells in 1999 the clock had to be hand wound and the long drop weights for the hour strike and clock hands reached down to the ground floor.

After the ringing chamber floor and staircase were installed there was no room for the long drop and an electromechanical system was designed and installed by G&J up alongside the refurbished clock.

As part of this system a timer controlled solenoid enabled a silent hours period for the clock striking.

The clock is a smaller but similar design to the clock in Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster. Erroneously called by some as BigBen which of course is the hour striking bell known world wide courtesy of its use by the BBC. After a visit to see the clock and the Big Ben bell we were lucky enough be alongside the larger clock when it struck and were surprised to here the whirring and clunks of the striking mechanism were very similar to those “at home”.

Top of the pendulum.

Purbrook’s clock timekeeping is remarkably good and  to keep it thus weights are added/removed occasionally either side at the top of the pendulum as can be seen here.

The narrow slit window, half way up the tower, “illuminates” the clock room.

The clock drives the hands on two faces. One looks out to the nearby A3 road and the other is over the church porch door.

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