19 January 2022
A very special event took place during the evening of 19 January 2022 in the City of London. The Master, Mark Levy, Wardens, Clerk and Company members gathered at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London for a celebration of the restoration of the Synagogue clock. Currently the Synagogue itself is undergoing restoration works. The historic Grade I listed Synagogue was originally opened in 1701 and is the only Synagogue in Europe that has held regular services continuously for over 300 years. For the event the Synagogue was opened for the Company, lit by its original candelabras, and accompanied by a Choir led by Jason Silver, creating an especially memorable evening.
During the celebration, Rabbi Shalom Morris spoke about the history of the Synagogue and its place as an important centre of worship. He also thanked the Master, Mark Levy, Junior Warden, Keith Scobie-Youngs and the Charity of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers for enabling the restoration of the Bevis Marks Synagogue clock. In response The Master, Mark Levy spoke about the connection between the Company, the Synagogue and the Master's Chain. The Master also talked about how he and Rabbi Shalom Morris had initially spoken about the clock restoration when it was realised that the clock, which had not told time for over thirty years, was not included on the list of items to be restored and renovated. Keith Scobie-Youngs then spoke about the clock, its restoration, with the clock movement sitting on display before the audience, and available to view after the celebration. Subject to the ongoing building restoration work it is hoped that the clock movement will be fully installed, and the clock working within the next few months. The clock is housed above the entrance to the Synagogue, as shown in the above photo images.
The clock movement is signed 'Ellicott & Taylor, Royal Exchange', from circa 1811 – 1830. The clock movement is weight driven, with an anchor recoil escapement impulsing a seconds pendulum. Upon his inspection of the clock, during the restoration, Keith Scobie-Youngs considers it possible that the motion works may have been from an earlier period and possibly the work of Aynsworth Thwaites, London from around circa 1760’s. Particularly, the 'beautiful repousse minute and hour hands'. The dial is copper convex and 2ft in diameter and carries the date of 1858. The restored clock is now fitted with a removable automatic winding system plus an auto-regulator.
Images courtesy and copyright of Captain Tony Gray