[time-nuts] The clocks at Windsor Castle, UK

Jerry Hancock jerry at hanler.com
Fri Jun 16 16:01:05 EDT 2017

I’m missing something here.   Advancing the clocks 11 hours is the same as setting it back one hour.  There was an article about a person that had 300 clocks with the same problem and I don’t understand the issue and I might be overlooking something or not remembering it correctly.  If you have to set them forward, no big deal, you just wind them forward as this doesn’t violate the law (of winding them backwards) which is verboten;  If you have to set them backwards (+11 hours), you just stop the clock(s) for an hour or wind them forwards.  Setting them back an hour is the same as going forwards 11 hours or stopping the clock for an hour.  You might lose a second or two running around the estate but it doesn’t violate the “forward only” rule.

I have an International Time Recorder (ITR) clock in my basement and I agree, though you can move it backwards (most have a slip-clutch with two plates and a spring pressing them together) you don’t want to do that as it is hard on the mechanism.  I also think that setting it backward would, or could, upset the chime mechanism timing.  When you slip the clock forward, it is usually just the final dial drive that is connected to the clutch so if it has a chime mechanism, that has to be adjusted separately.  I usually just stop the clock for an hour and if I miss the restart, I just catch up as moving it forward as stated, causing no harm to the mechanism.  So though running around the estate setting a couple hundred clocks would be a pain, it doesn’t require much thinking so I don’t get the issue.

I sent this note to my best friend, Dave Dietrich, who resides in Connecticut and is the current authority on master clocks having hundreds (if not a thousand) master clocks as well as time recorders, mostly from International Time Recorder, the founding company of IBM, for whom we both worked for over 25yrs. Dave has been setting up displays of his clocks, one of which is the most stunning being in Stamford, Ct, at the Stamford building.  These clocks are mechanical works of art that he restores.  I recently suggested he join time-nuts as if he isn’t a time-nut, then I question the definition.


> On Jun 16, 2017, at 6:09 AM, Bob kb8tq <kb8tq at n1k.org> wrote:
> Hi
> I would claim that anybody with 450 clocks to tend is indeed a Time Nut ….:)
> Bob
>> On Jun 15, 2017, at 10:37 PM, Bill Hawkins <bill.iaxs at pobox.com> wrote:
>> Happened to watch a PBS/BBC program called "Queen's Castle" episode 102
>> - Four Seasons, that was filmed in 2005 at Windsor, not Buckingham.
>> One of the segments was about the castle timekeeper, Steve Davison. He's
>> responsible for 450 clocks, some 300 years old. His biggest challenge is
>> the end of British Summer Time, when each clock must be advanced 11
>> hours, stopping until striking finishes. Old clocks were not designed
>> for Fall Back. Takes him 16 hours.
>> There was a brief shot of his workshop, with a clock repair in progress.
>> No sign of a time standard. No discussion of leap seconds, either.
>> Tried to find him, but only found a 2013 ad for a time keeper to
>> maintain 1000 clocks in various castles.
>> Hope that wasn't too far off topic.
>> Bill Hawkins
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