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Smith Enfield mantel clock

I acquired this clock from a local person who appeared to have done little to maintain it. It would occasionally stop for no apparent reason and was difficult to keep in beat. I decided that a good cleaning was in order. It is not a difficult clock to work on, having only two trains (time and strike). Dis-assembly was relatively easy as was reassembly.

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Movement showing pendulum / bob and gong hammer

I noticed that two pivot holes on the back plate were a little worn (escapement and the gear off of it) but I don’t think worn enough to cause the clock any serious issues for the moment. However, it definitely needs new bushings in the next year or so. Not having a bushing machine, I decided to put that repair off till funds permit me to tackle those more in-depth repairs.

While reassembling the strike side the spring became unhooked. I was ready to take the clock apart to reattach the spring but a little wiggling was all that was needed to re-hook the spring on the catch inside the drum. When completely dis-assembled the gears and plates were placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. Once the parts were dried the pivot holes were pegged following which I oiled the clock once assembled. After tinkering with the anchor by means of two adjustment screws to get the right height off the escapement, I was able to get a good pendulum swing and a steady beat. It has now been running for about two hours.

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Bent clip

I have not put 2 clips back on because they look like it would not take much to break them. Once the clock has been running reliably and striking correctly, I will reattach the clips. You can see how bunged up one of the clips is on the gear just below the snail.

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Spring on left became unhooked

Now for a little bit of history. The Enfield Clock Company (London) Ltd was formed in 1929.  The first clocks were sold in 1932.

The company used modern assembly line techniques to manufacture and assemble their clock movements, based on the American system of automated factories. The clocks were originally sold for wholesale and export only with movements sold to shops, casing them up themselves. The Enfield Clock Company prided themselves in the ‘British made’ clock. Gongs were supplied by Wagner in Whitechapel, Dials from Beta Manufacturers. By 1932, they started making their own bezels and had their own chrome plating Shop. In 1933, the company was finding it difficult to compete on price so the company was sold to Smiths Industries. This led to the name ‘Smiths Enfield’ clocks. Before the sale, the Enfield plant had a very tight budget, and had to sell all the movements made each week to cover wages and other expenses (they had a staff of 140).

In 1935 they started to produce grandfather movements driven by 3 chrome cased weights, 30cm dials with chrome trim. They later produced Grandmother chime movements and strike wall regulator movements.

1935/6 they introduced a striking 14 day clock in a Jacobean Oak case so putting the company on a more established footing. About this time the Enfield Strike range was established as well as the De Luxe range of Westminster chimes known as the ‘Enfield Royal’ named after the Royal Dukes. These clocks had a 5 year Guarantee and were better finished with damascened plates and chromed pendulum bob and gong rods. The underslung rods allowed for a slimmer case.

1939, and the outbreak of war, the factory was turned over to war time production. Clock production did not stop completely but material shortages were a major problem. The main production of the factory was fuses and flame markers etc for the armed forces.

After war, American machines were allowed to be kept and production of the 53mm movement re-commenced. Production was later moved to Smiths factory at Cricklewood and then later to their Welsh factory about 1955. Under Smiths industries the production line was changed to watches. Ultimately all clock production was phased out and so ended the company shortly thereafter.

This clock was made around 1950.

If you are starting out like myself tell me about your experiences both good and bad.

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