John Smith & Sons Clock Makers, Derby, November 2008

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goodeavens

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John Smith began his clock making business at 27 Queen Street, Derby, in 1856. Smith had been apprenticed to Derby clock maker John Whitehurst, of Iron Gate, and it was from Whitehurst that Smith had bought the Queen Street premises, the Whitehurst family home. The building itself has a very interesting history. American statesman Benjamin Franklin had visited his friend Whitehurst there. Earlier, it had been home to both Denby born Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed and artist Joseph Wright. Part of the building had also at one time been a pub, The Acorn.

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Back gates and alley

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Inside the gate

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View down the yard

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Not a great deal to see inside, pitch black in places

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smileysal

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What a fantastic place, love all the wooden panelling in one of the rooms. Good to see bits and pieces of clocks still in there too.

Very, very nice find mate, excellent pics.

Cheers,

:) Sal
 

goodeavens

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What a fantastic place, love all the wooden panelling in one of the rooms. Good to see bits and pieces of clocks still in there too.

Very, very nice find mate, excellent pics.

Cheers,

:) Sal

Thanks Sal :)
 

thompski

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Great stuff there sir! Its worth noting that Smith of Derby are responsible for the maintenance of the clock on St Pauls Cathedral. I was always somewhat cautious of entering this building as I'd heard rumours of some occupants (I've been told Squatters and drug users) is that the case?
 

TK421

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Good grief I remember this place, used to pass it whilst on my way to that real ale pub nearby, (Flowerpot?) and used to know a bloke who worked for them, are they still in business? Nice explore, lovely to see the old clock faces lying around.
 

thompski

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Still in business, I think they're in one of the out of town business parks, possibly Mansfield Road area.

I think the Flowerpot would be what your talking about, though I prefer the Brunswick near Derby Midland Station :)
 

goodeavens

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Great stuff there sir! Its worth noting that Smith of Derby are responsible for the maintenance of the clock on St Pauls Cathedral. I was always somewhat cautious of entering this building as I'd heard rumours of some occupants (I've been told Squatters and drug users) is that the case?

Thanks mate. I was a bit dubious about going in myself, but no sign of anyone :) it was a bit of a relief to see that the forest of overgrowth didn`t seem to have been recently disturbed
 
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goodeavens

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A few more pics, nothing exciting & poor quality

More panelling

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Door to roof space

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Entrance to roof space, old

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Roof space

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thompski

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Bit of information about the proposed reuse of this site here;

Plans for a £3m apartment and office block behind the former John Smith clockworks site have been given the green light. Derby City Council's planning committee gave the go-ahead to the development in Queen Street, Derby, despite concerns from some residents that important heritage would be lost. Work should start this autumn and last for 18 months. Developer Wilfred Young Homes put revised plans before the council in May of this year, having withdrawn original proposals last August because the design was deemed to be out of context with the surroundings. The new proposals are deemed to be more appropriate because the appartments are now "staggered back and not in a single block".

John Smith development includes two penthouse appartments, six one-bedroom flats and 10 two-bedroom flats, plus a two-storey office area. The traditional clockworks front will be integrated into the design. However, some residents have voiced opposition to the plans and sought to obtain listed status for the building. The Derby Heritage and Environmental Association of Residents and Traders (HEART) staged a sit-in protest in May as work got under way to clear buildings at the back of the site. It then made two applications to the Department of Media Culture and Sport via English Heritage to get the building listed so it could be preserved, but both applications have been turned down.
 

goodeavens

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John Smith & Sons, clockmakers - repairing 'Little Ben' windvane 1981


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John Smith & Sons circa 2000
 

Goldie87

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Interesting, im sure one of the museums in Leicester used to have clocks from this company
 

thompski

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Leicester had quite a big clock industry with Gent did it not? I remember Gent clocks, bells and fire alarms were used in the schools and college I attended.
 

johno23

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Good work mate, We have had our eye on this for ages but whenever we were in the area we were never suitably equipped and clothed to tackle that massive jungle at the rear.Love the "olde worlde" interior and panelling etc.

Does anyone remember the window beneath the main clock which housed the motor/mechanism for the clock above,we used to waste ages as kids watching it go round so we were late for school,hoping we could skive the day off:lol::lol::):question:
 

Goldie87

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Leicester had quite a big clock industry with Gent did it not? I remember Gent clocks, bells and fire alarms were used in the schools and college I attended.
Yes indeed it did, everywhere you explore has the stuff lol
 

Lightbuoy

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Very, very interesting looking place CG.
The building itself is a lot older than the facade would suggest. Imagine it was "Georgianised" in the early 1800's. Some fabulous detailing inside. Loving the old cobbled streets too -very Corrie! ;)

Lb:jimlad:

P.s. -cheers for the additional info Thompski.
 

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