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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Dave sees timepiece runs like clockwork

THE trains might not always be on time, but thanks to one man’s hard work, there is at least one thing that rail passengers can rely on.

Dedicated horologist Dave Burns has spent 18 years making sure the tower clock at Ulverston train station is running smoothly.

A key part of the proud history of the Furness Line, the clock is the last on the entire rail network that is still hand wound.

Mr Burns was asked to restore the clock in 1996 after it had been out of order for a number of years. Since then, he has stopped by every week to make sure things are still running like clockwork.

As a small token of appreciation, station owners First TransPennine Express presented Mr Burns with a set of porcelain clock cufflinks.

Mr Burns, who owns The Clock Works shop in Fountain Street, has been repairing clocks since a very young age.

He said: “It’s an honour to have been recognised by the staff at First TransPennine Express for a simple task I enjoy completing each week.

“It’s such a great feeling knowing I am helping to maintain a link with the past and the railway’s heritage, especially since there are so very few clocks surviving in their original condition nowadays.”

Mick Elliot, Ulverston Station manager, said: “Thanks to Dave’s knowledge and passion for horology, we are able to help preserve an important piece of the railway to ensure it is around for future generations.”

The clock, which is a prominent feature of the 140-year-old station, was made by renowned makers J.B Joyce & Co and was originally installed in 1902.

Traditionally, the station manager was responsible for keeping the clock wound and to time.

A telegraph would be sent down the railways instructing managers to check the time of their clocks was accurate according to a master clock at Euston Train Station in London.

Checks would be carried out at 10am every day and the time would have to be reset to make sure all the clocks on the network were consistent.

Today, the majority of station clocks have had their winding mechanisms removed and replaced with electric motors.

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