I am very pleased to be able to report that after a gruelling day’s work yesterday, the parish clock is back in action and, remarkably, keeping good time almost from the off. (There have been some unrelated issues with the chiming, but these should be resolved soon.)

Below you can see a photo of the broken suspension spring which was the source of the trouble. The top part is sandwiched in a block of brass held secure in the clock frame, while the bottom part is bolted to the top of the pendulum rod. As the pendulum swings in its one second beat, the spring flexes. This arrangement, which is common to nearly all pendulum clocks, avoids any friction in the pendulum but puts high demands on the steel of the spring, which gradually work-hardens with the continual flexing. Amazingly it turns out that the broken spring still had some of the original paint on it, suggesting that it dates from 1897 when the clock was new. This means that it is 126 years old and has flexed around 66 million times. Let’s hope the new one can do as well.

It may interest you to know that the escapement in our clock is the same double three-legged gravity escapement designed initially for the Big Ben clock, and that the recent restoration of that clock was undertaken by Cumbria Clocks who also maintain ours.