Historic clock back on time

  • Edward Cloutman, a master clock restorer, with the mechanism for an antique clock at the National Museum of Bermuda in Dockyard (Photograph supplied)

The clock is ticking once again in Dockyard after restoration work by a master clockmaker.

The Victorian clock was restored by Edward Cloutman, from Wales, who volunteered his time.

The National Musuem of Bermuda said the antiquarian horologist first repaired the clock 13 years ago.

Dr Cloutman reported that the clock was in “excellent condition”.

It has been maintained by the museum’s facilities manager, Andrew Harris, on a schedule developed by Dr Cloutman during his earlier visit.

The schedule sets out a strict checking, oiling, greasing and cleaning regime.

Dr Cloutman said: “The clock has given very little trouble over the years and has kept good time.”

The clock was made by John Moore & Sons of Clerkenwell of London in 1856 and drove four dials which kept time for the Royal Naval Dockyard for 100 years.

It was first installed in the south turret of the Clocktower Mall.

The clock was moved to what what was then known as the Bermuda Maritime Museum in 1984.

The clock chimes every 15 minutes, and is accurate to one-tenth of a second — with minor variations caused by humidity.

But the island’s climate took its toll on the clock mechanism, and it developed a problem which caused it to stop.

Chris Roque of SparYard Marine Solutions and his welder Rolly Jino also donated their time and expertise to fix the timepiece.

Dr Cloutman proved popular with visitors during his work and fielded questions from schoolchildren visitors to the museum.

Dr Cloutman was also able to repair a clock from the Whitney Institute which had suffered from corrosion.

The Whitney clock, made in the 18th century by London clockmaker Edward Tutet, has a birdcage movement made of wrought iron.

The Whitney clock was brought to the museum for conservation and preservation.

The museum thanked the volunteers for their time.

The Dockyard Clock is on display in the Boat Loft building below Commissioner’s House.