St Mary's Church Tower Clock - design and installation of Electric Winding.

The Gillet & Bland 1882 tower clock works in the conventional way with two heavy weights, one for the "going" and one for the "strike", and wound by hand once a week. The last chief winder was Mr Ken Bartholomew who climbed the 39 steps every week for thirty years. He retired in 1995 and volunteers were difficult to find thereafter. Fortunately Mr Robin Wallace-Sims, a mechanical and electric designer, took on the specialised task of installing electric winding as a hobby. This resulted in a sophisticated design using the existing weights and fully automatic switching. Mr Wallace-Sims insisted on as little intrusion into the original structure so that the mechanism is hardly noticeable. This was completed in December 1999 at virtually no cost. In 2011 the motor driving the striking mechanism required replacing and Mr Wallace-Sims was working on this when sadly he was taken ill and died before he could complete it. The time keeping itself was unaffected. Since then it has taken a few years to organise the mechanical and electric repair and again the experts involved have kept costs to the bare minimum. Finally, by Easter 2016 the work was finished and the clock was striking once again.

Much gratitude is due to all those involved and especially to Mr John Bishop of Connect Limited, electrical wholesalers of Shaw who has spent may hours improving the electric circuitry. We are now hopeful that the clock will continue to look after itself - every 24 hours - for at least another 133 years. (AMcOC)