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Answers sought on old pendulum

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 08:20 01 August 2010

A PENDULUM that is part of the original clock in Beccles bell tower has been discovered during a cleaning session.

The piece is around 30-foot tall and could date back as far as the 17th century, although the Beccles Business Association, which runs the tower, cannot put an exact figure in it.

A PENDULUM that is part of the original clock in Beccles bell tower has been discovered during a cleaning session.

The piece is around 30-foot tall and could date back as far as the 17th century, although the Beccles Business Association, which runs the tower, cannot put an exact figure in it.

They are now searching for anyone who might have any information on the mysterious relic.

The bell tower is now open for the summer, and the pendulum was found by 21-year-old Chris Madison, one of the volunteers who man it, when he was having a bit of a spring clean.

“It was hiding in the corner of the first floor,” he explained. “There's a lot of clutter here, and it was only when we wanted to move the ladder that I saw it. It was just left in the corner collecting dust.”

Volunteers at the tower have worked out that it was part of the original clock, which may have been installed in the late 1600s. They hooked it up with the old clock mechanism, which is now kept on display at the base of the tower, and found that it fit perfectly, hanging off two hooks at the top of the mechanism.

Chris thinks that it would have hung through a chimney-like panel on the second floor of the tower.

The clock is now controlled by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is transmitted via radio in London. This was set up in the 1960s, and so it is assumed that the pendulum was removed then.

“There must be someone alive that used to maintain the clock, because the story goes that someone would have come to the tower once or twice a week to wind it up,” said Chris. “Apparently there are also some weights which are seven-foot tall.”

Can you shed any more light on the history of the pendulum, or where the weights may be? If so, contact Christine Pinsent at the Beccles Business Association on 01502 715771 or The Journal on 01502 715674.

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