Historic clocks back on display

The brass faced clock donated to Sleaford Museum. EMN-160129-101615001
The brass faced clock donated to Sleaford Museum. EMN-160129-101615001

An old grandfather clock, built in Sleaford and bequeathed to the town, has been unearthed from storage to take pride of place in the new Town Hall.

According to Town Council records, the long case clock made by John Hargrave of Sleaford around 1790, was left by Hazel Hohlmann-Everard on her death in December 2002, but stored in the foreman’s office at the council depot as staff had nowhere else to put it having vacated their offices in Westholme.

The grandfather clock bequeathed to Sleaford Town Council. EMN-160129-101549001

The grandfather clock bequeathed to Sleaford Town Council. EMN-160129-101549001

Council Clerk Sheila Scholes said she has made enquiries about why it was bequeathed, adding: “It has recently been cleaned and restored by a local clocksmith and it’s lovely.”

By coincidence, Sleaford Museum has recently acquired another of well-known local craftsman John Hargrave’s clocks, this one with a brass face rather than painted and slightly older. This was kindly donated by former local businessman Mike Brewell, now living near Ipswich, and has been restored to working order.

Museum Trust chairman David Marriage explained: “A factory would produce a clock mechanism and then the local cabinet maker would make a ‘country case’, as opposed to an ebony one for London. We think John Hargrave’s workshop was in Southgate.”

The museum’s clock bears a mistake, the second hand has 5 seconds marked on the inner dial instead of the usual 10. Mr Marriage knew of only two other examples owned in the town and one in St Albans as many had rotted away.