Time is ticking by, our new season is fast approaching and there is lots going on a Polesden in the weeks leading up to opening on 1 March!
On Monday clock conservator Duncan Greig came to service our 18 working clocks. The clocks have been ‘resting’ during the winter months and before the house opens again in the spring, every clock has to be looked at by the conservator. This ensures that they are in good working order before they are restarted. It also provides an opportunity to iron out any problems that I have encountered whilst winding the clocks over the course of the past year. These regular checks mean that working clocks can often continue for fifteen or twenty years without having to be overhauled.
One of our clocks, a George II mahogany longcase clock by Robert Mawley, has proved to be a bit of a trouble maker! Ducan decided to seperate the dial from the movement in order to inspect it fully.
When we removed the movement, we discovered two old pennies that had been placed under the movement to keep it level.
These date from 1914 and 1921 respectively, and bear the profile of George V who visited Polesden Lacey. We don’t know when the pennies were placed in the clock, but we were certainly surprised to find them!
This particular clock is a favourite with visitors as they enjoy hearing the familiar St. Mary’s Cambridge chime, and visitors frequently stop to listen to it when it chimes on the quarter hour. Why not have a listen next time you visit? You may even spot me winding the clocks on ‘Wind-up Wednesdays’ during the open season!