Historic clock goes on show at village venue

The William Clark longcase clock, with Eric Robson and Karon Ives, chairman of Belford Museum committee.
The William Clark longcase clock, with Eric Robson and Karon Ives, chairman of Belford Museum committee.

A historic clock, which was made in Belford in the 18th century, is now on show at the village’s museum.

The venue has received the longcase clock – made by William Clark between 1770 and 1774 – on a long-term loan.

The William Clark longcase clock, with Eric Robson and Karon Ives, chairman of Belford Museum committee.

The William Clark longcase clock, with Eric Robson and Karon Ives, chairman of Belford Museum committee.

The shape of the clock case – tall, slim and with neat swan-shaped pediments – is reflective of the styles typical ofthe north Northumberland area.

The engraved face is unusual, as the decoration features both an owl and a pair of snakes; images which are not usually found on clock faces.

Clark was born in Morpeth. His clock, which has been generously loaned to the museum by Eric Morton, can be seen in the back room of the museum.

Clark is one of a number of clockmakers recorded for Belford.

Another is Thomas Tait, who worked in the village from 1802 to 1818, and created the balcony clock, which still keeps time for the Erskine Presbyterian Church, now the United Reformed Church, in Nursery Lane.

Three generations of Thompsons made watches and clocks in Belford for most of the 19th century, and Belford Museum is fortunate to have examples of both a pocket watch and a balcony clock by them.

A number of other clockmakers are listed as working in Belford. These include Richard Bolton, David Cairns, Matthew Robson, Walter Rodgers and, into the 20th century, Joseph Ross.

The museum would be pleased to hear if any of their clocks and watches still survive.

The Belford and District Hidden History Museum, located on Church Street, is free to enter and open seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm.

For more information, email info@belfordhiddenhistory.co.uk or visit the museum’s Facebook page.