Jubilee Tower Clock.



This clock was designed by John Johnson to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887 The foundation stone was laid by Sir Thomas Otway on January 20, 1888. John Willing donated the Clock Tower to the town at a cost of 2,000.00. The original time ball was operated hydraulically and was designed by "Volk" (Volk also engineered the Electric Seafront Railway in Brighton). For those interested, there is a model of this clock in the Brighton Museum.



The mechanism has a double 3-legged gravity escapement. (as seen opposite at the rear of clock)

The escapement is superior to any other design - the amount of force imparted to the pendulum is always the same, regardless of the state of the wind. The pendulum is 15ft long, compensated with iron tubes, so arranged that variance of temperature is allowed for.

The bob at the foot of the pendulum weighs 2 cwt. The original motive power was by one 600 cwt. iron weight, suspended by lines of twisted steel.












There are four dials - each 5ft in diameter.


Opal glasses (as above) were used for the dials, because of the good diffusion of light. All the wheels within the clock are of solid gunmetal, turned and polished. The main wheel measures 14" in diameter.


Currently, the 'falling ball' mechanism to the top of the tower has been re-designed and manufactured to accommodate the 100 kgm. copper ball that will rise up the mast at approximately 8 to 10 minutes before each hour. On each hour the ball will fall to visually simulate an hour 'gun'



Originally, the idea of this was for the use of Captains and seafarers in earlier years, so that they could synchronise their chronometers with the Greenwich Observatory Clock's 1 o'clock 'gun'.


Each day, the ball on the Greenwich Clock would rise up the mast and drop precisely at 1 o'clock. This enabled Captains sailing their ships from the Pool of London to set their chronometers precisely. Precise time was vital for accurate navigation during their weeks at sea.






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