The Ramsey Great Whyte Clock Mechanism

The Great Whyte Clock

Clock Workings

Ramsey Memorial Clock Pendulum Bob
Showing a Pendulum swing action

The two animations show the way a pendulum acts on an escapement wheel which then  drives the clock. It also shows a photo of the actual pendulum Bob that was attached to the end of the pendulum of the Great Whyte Memorial Clock. You can see this at the Ramsey Rural Museum.

Deadbeat Escapement connected to a Pendulum

The Memorial Clock errected in 1888 in honour of Edward Fellowes 1st Baron de Ramsey was a pendulum driven clock as shown in the above animations. The clock was using the latest techniques, the movement was fixed in the base! and was connected to the 2ft dials above using a shaft with improved universal joints. The pendulum was a compensating type beating true seconds, this means that the pendulum length automatically changed when the air temperature changed and kept the pendulum bob at the same height. This was necessary to keep the clock accurate in its time keeping, because if the pendulum lenghthened in the summer due to heat expansion the clock would slow down and if it shortened in the winter due to the cold it would speed up! 

How the Great Whyte Memorial Clock exactly worked is still a mystery at the moment. We know that the clock weight, this helped to drive the pendulum mechanism,  was wound up by using the river in the tunnels below. The river we are told, drove a propeller which was attached to the end of a long shaft. This shaft was fixed to a gear wheel near the roof of the central tunnel in the Chamber, shown in the centre photo below. This gear wheel turned the larger spoked wheel which had 30ft of steel wire around it, this went along the main tunnel roof running through small pulley wheels and up into the bottom of the clock base to wind up the weight which would drive the pendulum and escapement mechanism.

Parts of Ramsey Clock

Showing the front of the Gear Wheel
Clock Winding Wheel

These photos show parts of the Great Whyte Clock that existed when the repairs to the Chamber shown had its roof repaired in 2016. Unfortunately we were unable to recue them so they have disappeared forever.

Showing the back of the Gear Wheel