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Video: Time out as cathedral clock is repaired

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Behind the scenes at
Rochester Cathedral clock

Looking more like a time traveller's creation than a timepiece,
Rochester Cathedral's clock is being removed for long-overdue

The centuries-old timekeeper, powered by three mercury engines,
has been playing up for at least a year.

The last pieces of the intricate machine have now been removed
and taken to Croydon for maintenance repairs and - in the case
of the mercury - removal.

The £13,000 restoration is expected to bring Rochester's main
source of telling the time into the 21st century.

Rochester Cathedral clock
Rochester Cathedral clock

Cogs have cracked, chains have worn, and the world now
relies on an atomic clock to know to the split second whether an
appointment will be kept on time.

The new workings will be linked to that clock.

It is expected to take eight to 10 weeks before specialists can
return the pieces of the clock so it can be carried up the 96 steps
to the bellringers' chamber where it will be rebuilt.

Until then the three clock faces on the tower (for reasons which
no one is sure about, there isn't one on the eastern side) will
point to midday.

If they didn't do that, a medieval law threatens the diocese
with a fine - of a farthing.

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