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The Padiham Clock

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A considerable number of years ago a clock by Jonathan Cryer of Bingley was restored and became known as ‘the Padiham clock’.   The clock is also often referred to as ‘the Water clock’ but this purely relates to the fact that it has a water feature.

Following the death of Jonathan Cryer the clock passed to various members of his family and finally to his great nephew, a Mr. Petty, who moved from Bingley to Padiham taking the clock with him.   Early last century a descendant of Mr. Petty gave the clock to Padiham and it was displayed at the Museum at Memorial Park.

In 1952 the Museum closed and the clock was stored until it was rescued by Project Padiham who teamed up with the Burnley Civic Trust to restore the clock and put it on display in the Bradford and Bingley Building Society.   Since then the clock has moved from place to place but is now part of the artefacts of Padiham Town Council housed within the Archive Room at Padiham Town Hall.  

The clock is currently undergoing restoration and it is anticipated that it will be on public display from the summer of 2009.

The clock has several unusual features.   Firstly it is driven by a water wheel originally supplied by a continuously running tap which ran down a sluice to waste and now by a pump which re-circulates water from a small reservoir under the wheel.   The drive is taken by a series of bevel gears over to the right hand side of the case and then vertically to the first wheel of the clock.   The wheels are mounted in  flanged brass bushings on three separate plates fixed with wood screws to the background of the case.   The wheels are of a high count and the pin-wheel escapement is of turret clock proportions.

The clock was made by Jonathan Cryer for his own use and was built into a wall in his house which divided the entrance hall from the kitchen.   The compound dial, faced into the hall and shows the hours, minutes and centre seconds on the top conventional dial, which is signed.   The lower left dial shows the days of the week and the right-hand dial is a mercurial barometer.   The large hand in the centre of the main bezel is an annual calendar and one of the three pictures is signed ’T. Bottomly 1859’.

The skeletonised dial faced the kitchen and shows hours and minutes but also has a central seconds type hand which revolves once in three minutes and is, according to an old description of the clock, for timing boiled eggs.

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refurbed water clock

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