160-year-old clock back where it belongs

Peter Maule and brother John hand over the winding handle to Glendale Gateway Trust chairman Frank Mansfield.
Peter Maule and brother John hand over the winding handle to Glendale Gateway Trust chairman Frank Mansfield.

A grandfather clock that started its life in Wooler has returned home after more than 160 years.

The clock, made by Maule and Sons, who were based in Wooler before moving to Newcastle, has Newcastle engraved on the clock face, but Wooler engraved on the pendulum.

John and Peter Maule, whose family made clocks in Wooler from around 1800 to the 1850s, believes the clock was made around the time of the move.

He said: “Some parts were probably made in Wooler and some in Newcastle, which accounts for the two engravings. It will be good to see it back home in Wooler.”

John and Peter are giving the clock on permanent loan to the Glendale Gateway Trust, where it is now on display at the Cheviot Centre.

The Maule clock has had an interesting history; it was once stolen from the family home in Newcastle. Two thieves managed to get the 6ft 7in clock out of a window, but were spotted by police carrying it down the street in the middle of the night.

Frank Mansfield, chairman of the Glendale Gateway Trust, said: “We are delighted to have this piece of Wooler history back in its hometown. Our job now is to look after it for the next 150 years of its life.”

The Maule family are not the only historic clockmakers from north Northumberland. We have previously reported on Belford’s Thomas Tait, who made a clock which hangs opposite the pulpit at Erskine United Reformed Church, in 1812.

There’s also Matthew Collingwood, who was born in Alnwick in 1796, whose sons and grandson also became watchmakers and jewellers.