Historic Morecambe clock is back in time for new display

Curator of Industrial History John McGoldrick with the Potts Clock, which has just gone on display at Leeds Industrial Museum.
Curator of Industrial History John McGoldrick with the Potts Clock, which has just gone on display at Leeds Industrial Museum.
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A 111-year-old Leeds-made clock which once kept time in Morecambe is alive and ticking after being restored to its former glory.

Once the stalwart timepiece at Morecambe Promenade 
railway station, the impressive clock has taken pride of place at Leeds Industrial Museum this week after months of painstaking restoration work.

Made by famous Leeds clockmakers Potts and Sons from solid pine, the clock was originally installed in the 
circulating area at Morecambe Promenade station when the building was reopened in 1907.

A striking example of Leeds craftsmanship, the station’s clock was purchased by the museum from a private collector who had owned it since the 1970s.

John McGoldrick, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ curator of industrial history has spent months preparing the clock for display.

The museum has also been ably assisted by its specialist clock volunteers Eric Robinson and Tom Precious.

The clock is now part of a new interactive display which explores the ways peoples’ working patterns have been governed by the clock.

The display also looks at how the growth of Britain’s railway network from the 1830s created the need for standard time in different towns across the country – otherwise known as ‘railway time’.

A a pair of meticulously conserved models depicting the LNER locomotive ‘Green Arrow’ and the LMS locomotive ‘Cameron Highlander’ feature alongside the clock and a vintage punching in machine.

John said: “It’s quite a proud moment to see the clock going back on display, keeping time in a place where it’s surrounded by so many other examples of Leeds’s long history of leading the way in the fields of industrial and technological innovation.

“Potts and Sons started out as very much a local, family firm, but they became the benchmark for Victorian clockmakers and their creations were eventually installed at public buildings all around the world.

“This particular timepiece must have been one of the very first things that tens of thousands of Edwardians saw when they arrived at Morecambe for their summer holidays.

“It’s great to think that our visitors will get the chance to enjoy it now too.”

Potts and Sons were established in Pudsey in 1833 by William Potts.

As the company grew, they supplied 1,568 clocks for locations including at Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Corn Exchange.

Potts clocks could also be found at Lerwick Town Hall in the Shetland Islands, the Roman Catholic Church Hall in Melbourne, Australia and the post office in Port Lyttleton, New Zealand.

For more information about Leeds Industrial Museum, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/armleymills.aspx