Report - - Fixing the Clock, Old Cattle Market / Counting House Pub, Leicester - September 2012 | Noteworthy Reports | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Fixing the Clock, Old Cattle Market / Counting House Pub, Leicester - September 2012


A fellow of infinite jest
Regular User
Leicester Cattle Market opened on this site in 1872 and closed in 1988.
The Refreshment rooms and offices or ‘counting house’ are grade 2 listed and were converted into a pub by GK pubs in 1996.



This is less than half a mile from my house and for maybe five years the South face of this tower clock has been twenty minutes slow.
The other three faces have been stationary.
The bell chimes in time to the working face - twenty minutes after the hour.
I’ve wondered for a while if I might use this to my advantage.

A couple of weeks ago I walked into the bar and told the manager that I was an amateur clock mender and can I have a look to see if I can mend it.
The words were barely out of my mouth before Eeka and I were being shown to the access hatch. Result!


I was momentarily disappointed to see four separate electric drives dating from (maybe) late seventies and a control box from (maybe) mid nineties.


But then thought I might be able at least to set the working face and the chimes to the right time.
Twenty minutes of trial and error saw the master clock reading the right time, well by Eeka’s watch any way.


As you can see it’s quite snug.
The space is probably five feet square and the box that used to house the four-way linkage is just below my shoulder height.


I took the back off the working motor and advanced it by 20 minutes.


Spurred on Eeka’s ‘You know, you could fix them all if you wanted to’ I took one of the electric motors out to see if I could get a replacement.


Outside we checked the working face and waited in the car for the Radio 4 time signal – now it’s just eight seconds slow.

And so home. A bit of research found two suppliers in the UK who stock the same motor.
The first in Leeds but the second in Whetstone, about 5 miles from my house!


On the next visit I fitted the new motor to the East face and took the other two out.



An hour after I set the East face it was still showing the right time. :smile

I got two more replacement motors and visited again a week ago to fit them.
On this visit I took a few more pictures. So working up from the second landing –


I know it’s common place, but why did they include details like this?
Surely only the clock winder would ever come up here.


The weight chambers are built into two corners of the brickwork.



The faces originally had gas lights behind them, but would the by-pass have been for the pilot-lights?
MysteryPlumber, you got any idea on this?





At the top of the metal ladder is a “cupboard” with just the frame form the original workings and the winding handle


One of maybe twenty pulleys that brought the weight cable up the tower and back down to the clock.





The first two ladders up to the bell chamber




The bell complete with electric clapper. Dated 1977


The clapper for the original bell


Squinting through the top louvre, this is the Walkers stadium.


Finally I set the Master Clock to the speaking clock and closed all the hatches on my way out.

This started out as a blag. We were just hoping to get to explore it. It turned out to be so much more satisfying.

Got any clocks near you?

If anyone has any old shots of this or the cattle market that aren’t currently on line, I’d like to see them.

Last edited:


A fellow of infinite jest
Regular User
Re: Fixing the Clock, Old Cattle Market / Counting House Pub, Leicester - September 2

Not quite as brilliant as I thought. :rolleyes:

This is what it looked like on Sunday night after the clocks changed.


South face had gone backwards an hour, 3 faces appeared to have gone forwards 2 hours!

All reset again this morning.

Thanks for the comments btw. :)
Last edited:


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
That's fantastic, well done. :thumb
Great idea telling the manager that. Bit of a shame about the plastic over the face.


28" Member
Regular User
Great work on fixing this I have to add mate.
Must have been a great feeling coming outside and looking back up at it all correct for the first time in a long time.

Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
Wow good effort

I'm curious as to whether you did this at your own expense or not? I mean the cost of the replacement motors.


A fellow of infinite jest
Regular User
This is ace!
Cheers mate. It should be so good, but any that I've seen "adapted to electric motors" just have no life expectancy compared to the original mechanism. One of these 3 is dead now, after less than 3 years. And they keep shit time - 5 minutes gained in three months. Whereas Catthorpe's John Moore mechanism is accurate to less than 10 seconds in a year.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well done mate on everything, had many fond memories of visits to the cattle market as a kid growing up in Leicester :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I'm betting that bell was made by the Taylor foundry, Loughborough.


A fellow of infinite jest
Regular User
I'm betting that bell was made by the Taylor foundry, Loughborough.
Did I not mention that it’s all French? Pic 3, the “di” in the display is Dimanche.

The bell was made by Fonderie de Cloches Cornille-Havard, Villedieu-les-Poêles, France. Like Taylors, they are open to visitors, and like Taylor's it’s a fascinating place. Well worth a visit if you’re passing and into that kind of thing. Their website is interesting too if you want to know how bells are made - http://cornille-havard.fr/ .

….and the dead motor? Well I can't leave just leave it can I? More on that soon!