NNWFHS Meetings & Events

Harold Lapworth - Courtalds Clock Caretaker

One of Nuneaton's most prominent landmarks, the 70 year old Courtaulds clock, is keeping perfect time thanks to a great deal of loving care and attention. The one time thriving factory in Marlborough Road closed down in Nuneaton almost ten years ago and since then the clock has been kept going.

Harold Lapworth, the present clock "caretaker" said: "I have a great sense of conservation and satisfaction for this very fine piece of mechanism which has been keeping time within seconds, throughout its 70 years of excellent service." He added: "I have lived 60 years within the sound of the Courtaulds clock - I've been interested in clocks since a child and my father used to give me a clock to keep me busy by taking it apart and putting it back together."


Harold, a chemist by trade, took over winding the Gillet and Johnston clock six months ago after contacting Beazer Homes, the development company who are turning the five-storey derelict factory into flats, because he was concerned about its maintenance. The clock is similar to Big Ben and the weights on pulleys are wound the entire five floors of the building every week by Harold to keep the pendulum going.

Harold said: "Many people remember Courtaulds and still rely on the clock now - years ago people on the canal used to time themselves between the clock." Apparently when the south wind blows people in Camp Hill can hear the clock and that tells them that it is going to rain. Harold added: "Clocks like to be talked to and cared for with a little bit of oiling here and there."

The above article appeared in the Nuneaton Tribune 1st February 1990

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