Two Victorian clocks on display from the Isle of Wight's Steam Railway's collection at Havenstreet. Left: From the booking hall of Ventnor Station. Right: From Portsmouth Harbour Station.

Despite having had the maker's name painted over, the roughly seven-foot tall Ventnor clock was found to have been supplied by a local clock-maker, William Luce Hosking (see Hitchcock 3-4). Used from 1866-1966, the clock has been overhauled, and is now in good working order. Paul Hitchcock, whose article has just been cited, has since written in to explain that it is not so much a "clock" as a "regulator": it is fitted with “Graham's Deadbeat Escapement” for additional accuracy, which was the sign of a really good timepiece in the 1860s.

The large twin-faced clock from Portsmouth Harbour Station was made by "Jno. Walker" of London. This maker is sometimes (but not always, depending on the source) distinguished from the firm run by John Walker, who was one of Southern Railway's chief clock suppliers (see "British Railway Clock History"). There is also some confusion about how this 1898 clock could have survived the devastating air raids on Portsmouth Harbour and Station in World War II. It may perhaps have been in nearby Portsmouth and Southsea Station then, and only installed in Portsmouth Harbour after the war — although that seems rather unlikely.

Photographs, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee, who would like to thank the Isle of Wight Steam Railway's Museum and "Train Story" Discovery Centre for permitting photography, and Paul Hitchcock for his interesting contribution. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer or source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Related Material


British Railway Clock History and Interesting Facts. Railway Clocks, Evesham. Web. 13 August 2017.

Hitchcock, Paul. "History Painted Out." Isle of Wight Steam Railway: Museum and Archives Review. 12 (September 2015): 3-4. Web. 13 August 2017.

"LSWR Clock to IOWSR." Press Reader. Web. 13 August 2017.

Museum. Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Web. 13 August 2017 (this shows the Ventnor clock in its larger museum setting).

Last modified 26 November 2017