There’s a very special clock at the Corn Exchange in Rochester that’s been telling people the time for nearly 250 years. The historic timepiece, a gift from Sir Cloudesley who was MP for Rochester from 1695 to 1701, had fallen into disrepair with wear and tear over the centuries taking its toll until much of the clock had to be dismantled for safety reasons.
With over 30 years experience in clock manufacturing and restoration Good Directions Ltd was approached to bring the clock back to life. The original wooden dials were in a terrible state with much of the wood broken off, deteriorated or repainted so often that the intricate detailing around the edge of the dial was all but lost.
Having removed all the layers of paint to expose a section of the original outer detail, silicone moulds were taken to be able to produce a new ornate ring in GRP, which was then finished with liquid gold paint. Each numeral was then measured and perfectly drawn so that they could be recreated on the new painted metal dials.
For ease of future maintenance and to reflect on the original construction the dials were made in sections with a removeable centre segment, to allow access to the mechanisms in the future without having to remove an entire clock dial.
An aluminium drum with internal framework was manufactured at our factory to house the impressive 6ft dials and finished in black as per the original with drainage holes drilled in the bottom to deal with any water ingress or moisture build-up.
The original hands were replicated in stainless steel and again finished in liquid gold paint to match the dial. These were perfectly counterbalanced and are driven by our heavy duty CL300 electric mechanisms, controlled by our clock resynchroniser. This will keep both clocks accurate, automatically restart them after any power failures and alter them at the summer and winter time changes.
Before the clock was put back in its pride of place above the High Street in Rochester a time capsule was placed inside the drum full of messages from primary school children explaining what they love most about Rochester, for future generations to find the next time the clock needs restoring in decades to come.