Mechanical power station master clocks.

Power stations used to have two of these pendulum master clocks (one duty, one standby). A series of mercury switches  were used to send 30 second interval pulses to various measurement and control equipment.  For example typically there would be two rooms (duty / standby) filled with various meters and the pules instructed the meters when to take a reading.
Certain master clocks also controlled the frequency of lead power stations and hence the National Grid frequency,  by comparing the synchronous clock time with pendulum time, and in some complicated way opening up or closing the steam valve on the lead power stations.  The Synchronome type pictured on the left were reckoned to be accurate to 2 secs per week. Telephone exchanges used to have similar clocks, and effectively these are forerunners of the micro-chip, but with a frequency of 1/2 HZ instead of several GHz.
Pictured below is the the Ex-Padiham B clock with original movement. The case was dressed-up with some matching mouldings to conceal a 240 /110v transformer which is necessary to drive the rewind-motor. The original “Utility” face was replaced with an Ex-Catalogue face to be in keeping with the overall appearance. Last working two years ago.
The owner of this fine example  managed Roosecote and Padiham power stations and now manages Carrington (acting),  This one is  looking for a good home at the right price.
Enquires to Admin for forwarding.
Someone else still wants to buy a Synchronome type  electrically sustained  (as above) master pendulum clock in original condition, which were typically finished in a fine black lacquered case. Any information to Admin.

8 comments on “Mechanical power station master clocks.

    • I am looking to purchase an original Synchronome Master clock. Can anyone give me a lead to where I can find one? Thanks.


  1. On a recent visit to the British Museum I saw the Power Station master clock. Does anyone know where I can buy one?

  2. You seem them coming up on ebay from time to time. in fact I know someone who has one or had one for sale……there is also Mike the Clock who lives near Liverpool…..

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