Opening a Christmas gift sale at the Queens Hall, Cuckfield last Wednesday in aid of a fund to repair the church clock, Mrs MH Eyre quoted the saying of an old writer that mankind might that mankind might be divided into 'those who loved Cuckfield and those who didn't or didn't know anything about the town'.
The speaker went on to refer to the pardonable pride of the people of Cuckfield in their ancient church and everything appertaining to it. She added that Cuckfield had possessed a church clock since 1667. The clock was renovated in 1873 and last repaired 40 years ago. Now about £145 was wanted to restart it, and Mrs Eyre felt sure that in view of all the attractive good made by Mrs HFC Kempe and her ladies, the money would be easily obtained.
Mid Sussex Times, 12 December 1945
Photo: Here in the church tower we see the view of the clock, now run by electricity rather than having to be wound by hand. Picture courtesy Cuckfield Museum.
'The remains of his clock not going since parts are missing, and hanging on the wall inside the tower and on view. The strike fly contains the letters and date IL 1667 being Isaac Leney's initials and the date of making. The Leneys had a forge on the site of Attrees, just behind the newer house on the top of the hill called Waverley.
'John Gurr of Cuckfield was paid £3 10s in 1702 for converting the church clock to 'a pendle' (pendulum) from the original verge escapement. It had only one hand and remained there; going until 1867 when it stopped - not’ a result of Mr Hart, the sexton committing suicide from hanging by the bell rope, but from wear.
'The replacement clock of 1873 was made by Gillet and Bland of Croydon who also made the Lindfield church clock.'
From Edward Bates’ diary
Also check out our Cuckfield Connections article The Lost Legend of Cuckfield Church
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.