Saturday, October 31, 2020

Mean Time Please --- Day 9/198

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball          

Distance: 3.8 miles, 1 Hr. Pickleball, yoga/stretch

So, if you are like Ciwt and are challenged syncing your few home clocks and watches, imagine the pressure on this guy:

His name is Fjodor van den Broek, and he is the current horological conservator of 900 year old Windsor Castle.  In other words, he is the man who must make sure all 400 clocks on the Windsor estate are at the precise Greenwich Mean Time moment.  There are about 250 in the castle itself along with 7 tower clocks, and did Ciwt mention this is his first year on the job.  (Remember when you were beginning some of your jobs?  Tension and mistakes galore).

Sounds like Fjodor has factored that in because he has given himself 16 hours over the weekend  to complete his project.

Just getting from room to room will take quite a bit of that time.  And then there is the matter that all this must be done by hand and carefully coordinated with other movements in the clock.  For instance,
one of the clocks is an organ clock made in 1740 which plays melodies by Handel, four of which were composed just for the clock.  So this clock must be calibrated with the brass drum, pins of the organ and the bellows housed in the clock's base.

Organ Clock in the King's Drawing Room

And just to make things a bit trickier, the clocks in Windsor Castle's kitchen must be set five minutes ahead of the rest of the clocks so that the food will arrive in time for the royal family, official visits by heads of state from other countries, investitures, awards ceremonies and other royal functions.

After he has finished his first "Falling Back," Fjodor will resume spending  one full day a week winding up the mechanical clocks to keep their pendulums swinging.  And taking apart each clock for full service every 10 to 15 years.  As he explains "There will be a little wear that will need repairing, I'll then lubricate the mechanism and put the clock back together."  He also adds, "Most of the clocks are quite accurate but every now and then, for no reason, they will suddenly start losing or gaining time - something I've just started calling 'life.'  So I do have to keep a constant eye on them."

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