The Clock

Our clock is a memorial to the 34 young men from the Parish who died during the First World War

After the First World War the country tried to recover from the catastrophic loss of the lives of millions of men and women between 1914 and 1918.

Although a small rural parish, Copythorne saw at least 34 young men die during that terrible war and a Memorial Committee was set up to raise funds for a Memorial .

A clock was supplied and installed by Mr Alfred Peglar of Southampton at a cost of £180 (about £7000 in modern terms) and a local builder (Mr K Barnes) was paid £28 for the stone surrounds to the clock faces.

The clock was made by Thwaites and Reed (who still maintain the clock of Big Ben) and was one of the last hand wound tower clocks that they made. In the 1920’s, electrical movements took over, but St Mary’s clock is still hand wound.

It has a two train hand wound mechanism, powered by a gravity weight pulley system. It strikes the hours and runs for 8 days before winding is again required. The clock and striking drives use weights totalling 168 and 192 pounds (76 and 87kg) respectively.

The clock has been wound and adjusted by the same parishioner, John Harrison, for more than 30 years.

In 1921 the War Memorial Committee handed over to the Parochial Church Council the care and possession of the clock. It had then an insurance valuation of £250.

By 1930 it was in need of a thorough cleaning and oiling. The most recent major overhaul and repair was carried out in 2002.

The clock was made to last the lifetime of the building and has been maintained by Baldwin Clocks who were responsible for the refurbishment of the three faces in September 2013.

The restored clock was re-dedicated during the Service of Remembrance on Sunday 10 November 2013.

The PCC is very grateful to the War Memorials Trust for a grant of £2274 towards the cost of the work.

To see references to the clock in the PCC records 1922-1930 St_Mary_clock_PCC_records