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1929: How the Gatland Clock came to The Queens Hall ...

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 16 July 1929


We are pleased to be able to announce that the inhabitants and friends of Cuckfield have given generously to the fund for the purchase of the old grandfather clock from the Trustees of the Sergison Estate for presentation to the Urban Council. With one or two promises of assistance it is hoped to have sufficient money to put the clock in thorough working order before presenting it to the Council. Mr. H. Bates informs us that further donations have been received from Mr. F. J. Hawke, Mrs. Payne, Mr. H. F. Baly, Mr. F. Knight, Mr. S. Knight, J.P., Mr. H. Bates, Mr Mortens, Messrs. F. and W. Patrick. Mr. S. H. Knight and Mr. Preston. In the list of donors given last week Mrs. and Miss Reid, of Millhall, were inadvertently printed as Mr. and Mrs. Reid.

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 10 September 1929

THE CLOCK FOR THE HALL had been subscribed for by the townspeople. He (Chairman of the Cuckfield Council) would ask Mr. Bates to speak upon this matter.

The Bates family at their shop in Cuckfield

Mr. Bates said he had a pleasant duty to perform in asking the Council to accept this clock, which had been secured for the town by public subscription. The late Mr. R. A. Bevan, to whom, in a large part, they owed that Hall, had always been anxious to have a Cuckfield-made clock in the Hall. Many attempts had been made to get one, but all the clocks inspected had been found unsuitable. When it was mentioned that the furniture at Cuckfield Park was to be sold, which included a clock made locally, he communicated with Lady Brooke to see if it was possible to obtain the clock before it was put up for auction.

Lady Brooke replied to the effect that she would do the best she could to arrange the matter with the Sergison Trustees and enclosed a donation towards the clock’s purchase. Later the Trustees stated that the clock would be sold to him (the speaker) at £10 under the fixed sum. A public subscription list was immediately opened, and it was Interesting to note that every member of the Bevan family that they were in touch with forwarded a donation. The clock was bought, and Messrs. Askew and Sons had restored the case and Mr. C. Baker renewed and repaired any parts of the works that needed attention. The clock would


and with proper care it would go for at least another 100 years. He would like a resolution passed that the clock be accepted, that it should always stand in the Hall, and that thanks be accorded to all who had subscribed. Fitted into the back of the clock is a brass plate bearing the inscription:-

“This clock was the property of the Sergison family, and was going in their hall at Cuckfield Park for upwards of 160 years. It was made by Edward Gatland, who, with his father John Gatland. worked in Cuckfield clockmakers for the greater part of the 18th century. Edward Gatland was buried in the Churchyard in 1780. The clock was purchased by public subscription and presented to the town of Cuckfield in the year 1929.”

Mr. Stevens proposed that the clock be accepted, and that a vote of thanks be accorded the subscribers, Lady Brooke and the Bevan family.

Mr. Simson seconded the proposition. which was carried unanimously. A vote of thanks was passed to Mr. Bates for his interest in the matter.

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 24 September 1929


To the Editor of The Mid-Sussex Times. Dear Sir, —

I was much interested in the article by Mr. Hubert Bates relative to clocks made at Cuckfield and elsewhere, and particularly in the reference to Edward Gatland who was buried at Cuckfield in 1780.

I have a grandfather clock in an oak case, with brass face, by the same maker, which has descended to me from my great grandfather, who had Great Hayward, Chites and Hilders Farms in Cuckfield parish about 1808 to 1810. I have often wondered how long it has been existence prior to that date, but as the maker died in 1780—30 years before—it has evidently been ticking for something over 130 years, and is still strong and keeps excellent time. Possibly my great grandfather inherited it from his father, or he may have purchased it. I have heard my father (who died in 1921 in his 93rd year) say that he remembered it as a child—that is for nearly or quite 90 years. The information acquired is of great interest to me.

Yours faithfully. T. W. PICKARD. Glynde, Lewes.

Note: The Gatland Clock is currently being restored and hopefully will soon be displayed again at The Cuckfield Museum


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