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The Longshaw Clock

The mechanism and the original hut were built in 1953 by Carter, Milner and Bird Brewery based in Sheffield. 

Its original purpose was timing events at the 1953 Brewery Field Day. 

The 1953 President of Longshaw Sheep Dog Trials was Mr TS Carter, one of the partners of the brewery; He suggested it be used at the trails to make it more interesting for the spectators. 

The original hut was made of Hardboard on a Dexion frame. It was approx 12 feet high by 5 feet square with a 44-inch diameter standard clock face. 

This hut was severely damaged when it was blown over in a gale during the trials of 1974. The roof was never found having been last seen flying over the woodland heading for Fox House Inn. 

The hut was temporarily repaired and eventually replaced with the present wooden purpose made a hut in 1977. This hut did not have a clock face. Therefore, the original face was carefully cut out of the broken hut and fixed to the new shed. 

The hut-like everything else on the trials ground is assembled and taken apart each year. 

The clock mechanism is still the original and comprises:

  • 24-volt ex RAF DC electric motor 

  • 3 worm drive reduction gears 

  • 2 chain drives between each gearbox

  • Final V belt drive to the finger shaft 

Power is supplied by 2x 12-volt car batteries wired in series to provide 24 volts. The speed is adjusted by a sliding wire wound resistance. Start and stop is by a remote switch on a cable allowing for operation outside the hut. 

Other than regular oiling the only replacement parts have been sets of brushes for the motor. 

The numbers on the face represent each minute; the finger revolves one complete revolution every 12 minutes. 

As the batteries run down the resistance is adjusted; however, this requires frequent regular adjustment, so the operators allow the clock to run slightly fast and stop it periodically to align it with a stopwatch. One battery has to be charged each night to keep the clock running for three days. 

It has always stood at the bottom of the field and has been used at every Longshaw trial since 1953. Of the four officials operating the clock, two have been doing this task since it was first used. 

Everyone is very welcome to call in at the clock hut and have a look at this piece of Longshaw history. 

The Longshaw Clock
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