Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Church clock mechanisms

click photo to enlarge
I'm not someone who is particularly interested in mechanical objects. I maintain my bicycle quite well and don't mind doing so. But, I bought a car on the understanding that I wouldn't have to poke about in the engine. That indifference to things mechanical spreads to most other areas including old clocks. There are those who relish looking at and tinkering with the innards of clocks. Whilst I understand, I think, their motivation and fascination, I don't share it.

During my wanderings around churches I frequently come across the mechanical workings of tower clocks. Sometimes these are old, no longer used clocks, often dating from the late medieval or Georgian period, put on display in an aisle or a transept, gathering dust and tick-tocking no more. Other times I climb towers and pass by the current mechanism driving hands that can be five feet long on a face twelve feet or more across. That happened a while ago when we went up the tower of Holy Trinity in Kingston upon Hull. The workings, as can be seen in today's photograph, date from 1903 and came from the Leeds clockmakers, W. Potts & Son Ltd. Everything looked beautifully kept, well oiled, with nicely painted wood and metal, and shiny, polished brass; perfect for a photograph.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 24mm (36mm - 35mm equiv.) - cropped to 4:3 ratio
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/40 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On