Hunt for true Carnforth clock

Carnforth Station clock winder and retired railwayman Jim Walker.
Carnforth Station clock winder and retired railwayman Jim Walker.

I refer to the Carnforth Station report in The Lancaster Guardian dated November 14. You say: “The famous clock for instance, being an empty case with its mechanism situated elsewhere in a wooden box, was sold off.

“The Trust unearthed it in Twickenham and had it repaired locally.”

While not disputing that is what was said at the meeting, it is not completely accurate and the full story is much more interesting. I give you some of the full story.

The clock was first put in its present place in December 1895, as reported in the Lancaster Guardian for December 28 that year.

In the 1970s the original mechanism and facings were removed and replaced by electric motors and fibreglass faces.

During the restoration period of the station a programme on station clocks was made for Channel 4 TV.

Peter Yates, the then chairman of the trust, made the comment to the producer that he would make it his business to find the original clock.

Peter Davies, who was born in Carnforth and moved away, assisted with historical research regarding the station.

Peter Davies set about trying to trace the it and research on another clock led him to Twickenham, bought from Collectors Corner letting Peter Yates know.

Peter Yates then went to see the clock and believed it to be the original one.

With the financial aid of a local businessman, the clock was purchased and Peter Yates transported it back to Carnforth.

When the clock was restored to its drum it was found that screw holes in the clock and the drum perfectly aligned, proving beyond doubt that it really was the original clock.

Jim Walker is the keeper of the clock and he winds it twice a week whilst Peter Yates monitors its condition.

Robert Swain

The Nook