One of my favourite objects in the Museum is tucked away in a corner but is the noisiest item we have on display.
The Hadfield Longcase Clock is a very impressive example of a clock with a finely carved wooden case and a face with decorative metal work. It was given to Chesterfield Borough Council by Mrs A Hadfield in memory of her late husband Walter, and for many years it stood in the Mayoress’s Room.
The clock is a freestanding, weight-driven pendulum clock with the pendulum held inside the tower of the case. The three weights that drive the mechanism can be seen through the glass door and each weight needs to be wound individually. The left hand weight is the lightest and the large weight on the right is very heavy and takes a great deal of effort to wind. One of my jobs at the Museum is to keep an eye on the clock which I normally wind once a week. I find that it normally loses 10 to 15 minutes each week so I also have to adjust the hands to keep it fairly accurate but it is not a particularly reliable instrument!
The Museum is very close to the Crooked Spire Church in Chesterfield and throughout the day the bells of the church can be heard competing with the chimes of the clock but they are rarely heard at the same time due to the erratic timing of the Hadfield clock.
Robert - museums assistant