Hull’s Maritime Museum Historic Clock To Become Automated

Hull's Maritime Museum Historic Clock To Become Automated
Hull’s Maritime Museum Historic Clock To Become Automated

After more than 100 years, a historic clock in the city centre will become automated.

The large clock on Hull’s Maritime Museum’s south-facing tower and its dialworks have been thoroughly cleaned, as well as the new automatic winding system measured.

Every seven days, it has been wound by hand since 1871. With the new automated system, the tower will wind itself up automatically, thereby saving someone from climbing inside and manually winding it.  It will be completely reversible, leaving the historical clock workings untouched.

Cooke & Son of Hull made the clock in 1871, and G.F. Newey of York reconstructed it in 1918.

Gillian Osgerby, ’s Project Director for Hull Maritime, said: “The clock is a focal point of the exterior of the building and this new feature will ensure it keeps accurate time for the centre of the city for many years to come. 

“For 150 years, the clock on the old Dock Offices has kept time for the city, overlooking the historic Princes Dock where ships came and went through Hull’s Town Dock system.”

Specialist Clockmakers, Smith of Derby who is also working on the Guildhall’s new Time Ball have been appointed to undertake the work.

Sam Welton, Sales and Operations UK at Smith of Derby, said: “Smith of Derby are delighted to continue our close working relationship with Hull City Council, working on this historical clock which is a focal point of the City Centre. Once these works have been completed, the clock will be in both reliable working order and automatically wound to reduce manual input.”

Building contractors, Simpson of York are currently undertaking a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the Grade II* building.

David Renwick, Director, England, North at The Heritage Fund, said: “It’s fantastic news that thanks to National Lottery players this historic timepiece will be getting a new lease of life. The meticulous process to automate the clock and bring some modern innovation to its mechanism will make sure that this fantastic example of horological heritage can be admired by residents and visitors to Hull for many years to come.”

In early 2023, the automation system will be operational.

Hull’s Maritime Museum is being revamped as part of Hull Maritime, a £30.3 million project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the city’s maritime treasures. Additionally, two ships will be restored, the and Spurn Lightship, along with the refurbishment of Dock Office Chambers.

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