Great Western Railway clock is lovingly restored
A 19th century Great Western Railway clock has been lovingly restored to its former glory by Network Rail after it stopped working two years ago.
The GWR clock, which dates back to 1852, is a double-aspect clock and keeps time at the historic Severn Bridge Junction signal box in Shrewsbury – the largest mechanical signal box in the world.
The signal box, which opened in 1904, and its internal fitments are Grade 2 listed and it operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It houses 180 levers controlling track signals and points – of which 90 are still in use.
The clock would have been produced for a large signal box with a minimum of two signallers, one at each end of the frame – the method of operation in use today at Severn Bridge Junction.
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Wales route managing director, said: “The clock was originally built by the Great Western Railway at its famous Swindon works and first used in the Oxford area – though we can’t be sure at which signal box.
“It had been keeping time at Severn Bridge Junction signal box for many years until it stopped ticking two years ago and was put into safe storage.
“We sourced a local expert in Adrian Donnelly, a Shrewsbury-based clock and barometer specialist, who has done a wonderful job restoring the clock back to its best.
“Adrian enthused on the quality of the mechanism and has accurately dated its manufacture back to 1852. By completing this important restoration, another piece of railway heritage has been preserved for future generations.”