Carnforth Station’s famous Brief Encounter clock is telling the time again

Peter Yates with Carnforth Station Clock. Photo by Robert Swain.
Peter Yates with Carnforth Station Clock. Photo by Robert Swain.

Carnforth Station’s famous clock is ticking once again.

The clock, made famous by featuring in the classic film Brief Encounter, has been standing still for almost year following a row between clock winder Jim Walker and Carnforth Station Trust.

Peter Yates winding Carnforth Station Clock. Photo by Robert Swain.

Peter Yates winding Carnforth Station Clock. Photo by Robert Swain.

Mr Walker was banned from station premises by the trust after an alleged racist incident, which the 71-year-old has always denied.

He then refused to continue winding the clock, which had been a twice-weekly voluntary role for him for the previous 13 years.

But on Sunday afternoon, clock custodian Peter Yates restarted the iconic clock “in the interests of goodwill and for the people of Carnforth.”

This followed a consultation with his fellow custodian Terry Boxford and some other interested parties, who agreed that the clock should be restarted.

Mr Yates will now wind the clock on Sundays, while fellow Friends of Carnforth Station member Pam Riley will take up the role on Thursdays.

Mr Yates said: “We should all be working together, it’s ridiculous.

“But I am not saying that the argument is over. They have got to accept that they have treated this matter unfairly. It’s about justice.

“I feel very sorry for Jim, it’s ruined his life.”

Mr Yates said he was winding the clock with the consent of Mr Walker, who was the last person to drive a steam train into Carnforth almost 50 years ago.

He said: “It’s an attempt to try to take the fire out of the situation a little bit.”

In future, it will be easier to wind the clock as using a stepladder will no longer be needed.

A new winder uses a ratchet mechanism and so the clock is easily wound from on the platform.

And Mr Yates said he was impressed with the mechanism of the clock, which was working smoothly straight away.

“It’s 127 years old,” he said. “It’s been standing still for a year and I wound it up and it started immediately.

“It’s a real credit to the people who made it and we are very pleased that it runs so well.”

Carnforth Station Trust chairman Peter Crowther reiterated in August that Jim would remain banned from certain areas of the station owned by the trust, and that they would not be apologising.

He said at the time: “The clock is very much a landmark for the station so we want to see it working again. But Jim is not going to get an apology because the board has done the right thing so we don’t feel the need to apologise to him.”