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Old 16th April 2010, 07:59   #1
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Default A Vintage Restoration of a Different Kind

One of Vintageman's pro bono pursuits.

A Vintage Restoration of a Different Kind-scan0005.jpg

A Vintage Restoration of a Different Kind-2327033547_8c475ac69e_o.jpg

Clock Tower or Ghanta Ghar of Lucknow

It is located very near to the Rumi Darwaza, also called Hussainabad Clock Tower. This 67 m-high clock tower on the river Gomti, is the tallest clock tower in India. The 221-foot tall structure was erected by Nawab Nasir-ud-din Haider to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, 1st Lieutenant Governor of United Province of Avadh in the year 1887 at a cost of Rs. 1.75 lakhs. The tower has European style artwork. The parts of the clock is built of pure gunmetal and the pendulum hangs 14 feet. The dial of this clock is shaped like a 12-petalled flower and has bells around it.

Watch this space

Perak
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Old 16th April 2010, 08:36   #2
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Good luck Mr Chauhan and Mr. Agarwal for the project. I hope you people succeed in getting the present setup restored. Do share some updates as and when you get time.

Sorry for NOT making it to the rally. That day went to the doctor so was not able to join you. Will call you sometime.
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Old 16th April 2010, 13:45   #3
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I also have a penchant for collecting mechanical stuff like gramophones, toys, clocks, pocket watches. But I am NOT hands on.
Benson may be referring to J.W.Benson, who made very nice railway clocks often seen all over Indian railway stations. I have a few.
Mumbai also has several clock towers with clocks waiting to be restored, a friend tried to get the job of repairing a clocktower in the Zoo complex but did not get the contract.
I hope that Vintageman is successful in starting this clock, and many more to follow.

Cheers harit
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Old 16th April 2010, 15:02   #4
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Nice info Perak. Good to bring it back to it's glory.
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Old 2nd May 2010, 14:49   #5
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Mr. Chauhan any further updates on this restoration ? Hope that the work is on.
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Old 2nd May 2010, 18:11   #6
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Great work Paritosh. Way to go. This will indeed be a very interesting thread to follow and as you said, different!!
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Old 5th May 2010, 02:09   #7
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Gogi ( Bhai ) ,

I have just been informed that my brother (id Perak ) has put this thread into existence ; thanks for your kind comments - everybody . Akhilesh & I we got charged up when we learnt the city authorities wanted to change this one-off clock with an electronic time keeping device . Well as they say - " fools rush in ............. fear to tread " - we rushed to the District Magistrate explained to him the sacrilege the city of Lucknow was about to commit by replacing the original clock. Luckily Mr.Ghosh the Lucknow DM and Mr. Pathak the ADM concurred with our opinion , and , that set us off on our restoration grail . Akhilesh ( IIT-K 71 - 75 and as per my IIT contacts he could be the idea for the " 3 Idiots " - a hands on mechanical / automobile engineer par excellence ) & I tendered the feasibility report to the city authorities - which was accepted ( in Hindi - marte kya na karte ) .

When we went up the tower - the civil works for the tower restoration got added to our brief .

The only thing left over from the original Benson clock is the frame , but from the frame we could get the center distance and for us the project is our Jurassic Park we have the DNA - we now have to reconstruct he Dinosaur . Within a month the escapement and going train design is ready - work has started on the repair of the tower interiors. We are positive that we will have the clock working and working with the gongs and chimes, before the time period alloted to us ( 2 years ) .

The clock tower is the highest clock tower in India and I have been given to understand the highest open brick structure in Asia . The clock is the biggest clock in India with 4 dials ech 18 feet diameter.

I will request the moderators to shift this to the vintage section , then I can update this regularly.

Regards
Chauhan

PS: Expect to complete the painting of the 1934 Plymouth this month and then start on the W111 Heckflosse - when I will be requesting your advice to accomplish that project.

Last edited by vintageman : 5th May 2010 at 02:13.
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Old 5th May 2010, 02:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsag12 View Post
Mr. Chauhan any further updates on this restoration ? Hope that the work is on.

Hello Samsag ,

I like your id - City of the Nawaabs , its always a pleasure to interact with people who are proud of this city . The Clock Tower restoration and the clock regeneration is in progress and hopefully we will accomplish the project before the due date .

Best Regards
Chauhan
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Old 5th May 2010, 11:54   #9
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It feels great that one of our city's pride will be resurrected to its original glory. Sir its a pleasure for me too to interact with some people who are true Lucknowities. Good luck for the restoration. Hope to listen the gongs and chimes in near future.
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Old 10th May 2010, 23:16   #10
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Hello All ,

The work on the clock has started in right earnest , in hindi there is a proverb - " Dube chale thay Chaubey ban-ne " how apt , progressing from vintage car restoration we dreamed of restoring a (one off ) vintage clock , which also happened to be the biggest clock in India fixed on the highest clock tower in India - we are restoring the vintage clock - that is the easy part , but now we are also restoring a vintage clock tower , which is really tough .

So work has started on the clock tower & the tower clock. The carpenter who was working on the vintage cars has been put into service as incharge of a team renewing the wooden floors for 8 storeys in the clock tower . My denter / tinman and his helper are working on the dials and my mentor in things mechanical - Akhilesh Agarwal has finished the design of the clock and the gear train.

Our volunteer group has also grown , with people walking in to volunteer help . We have had the DM & ADM clambering up tottering floors and crumbling ladders to assist.

The following photographs show the extent of work to be accomplished.

The clock mechanism that was / and presently is :
Attached Images
  

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th May 2010 at 21:40. Reason: As a follow up to your move request - i have left a permanent redirect in the Vintage Cars main forum as well. Cheers. :)
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Old 11th May 2010, 06:12   #11
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A Don't feel calling some residents of Lucknow as Lucknowities who do this kind of thing to the heritage of our country. Each and every gear seems to be flicked out.. But some people who are true admirers take up such projects to correct what went wrong. Kudos to your team who is slowly shaping the tower and its better half. Sir did you took up the restoration of tower building also. Would love to drop in sometime to have a look. Is there any chance of doing so.
BTW the saying you stated originally goes like this:
Chaubey chale thay Chabbe hone dubey ho ke laute. Guess you modified it to suit what you intended to say. Good.
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Old 12th May 2010, 12:56   #12
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Hello Samsag ,

As the good book says - "forgive them for they not what they do" ; look at the flip side - because the clock is in it's present condition - I have a restoration project . For us the fun lies in the restoration.

I took the liberty with the expression to make it suit our status , thank you for pointing out the correct version - hopefully chabbay ban hi jayenge .

Presently the wooden floors are under repair , you can accompany me once the structural safety of the tower is ensured.

Regards
Chauhan
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Old 13th May 2010, 09:17   #13
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Thank you Rehaan / Mods , for your kind gesture in arranging this redirect .

Hello All ,

As the picture above shows , all the parts from this magnificent clock have been vandalized and sold for scrap - over the last 26 years ( the clock stopped working in 1984 ) the thieves had the temerity to remove one of the massive 7 foot copper minute hand from the dials , and nobody in the city ( including me )noticed.

Other than the lithograph which has a drawing of the clock mechanism ( pictured above ) we do not have any drawings, plans or literature for this clock , the original manufacturer JW Benson went out of business when their establishment was destroyed in World War II during the aerial bombardment of London - they are no longer existent. So no help available there.

We ( Akhilesh Agarwal & I ) did not have any knowledge about clock repairing and we had never imagined we would be regenerating a clock . The only data we had for the sizes were the clearances and distances on the clock frame . Working on basic principles of physics for the working of a pendulum and a thorough knowledge of machining techniques augmented by the information available on the net , has enabled us to design the clock mechanism and the gear train over the last 3 months.

The material for the manufacture of the clock has all been sourced locally in Lucknow . Our intention is to regenerate the whole clock with local supplies and local engineering .

The heart of the clock - the escapement and the pallet fork have been manufactured from stainless steel 202 and steel grade EN31 respectively .

The steel blanks / blocks for the gears and pinions have been cast and are on their way for proof machining and stress releasing.

All the work on the clock is being done by persons who have worked with me on vintage cars . The castings for the gears have been made by Shakeel - the person who cast the pistons for the Topolino , the proof machining at Super Auto Lathe Works who do all the machining work for the cars and the gear hobbing at Dilawar Engineering who has a NC wire cut machine which permits us to be very precise with gears . I have put their names here to acknowledge their assistance .

Regards
Chauhan
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Old 13th May 2010, 11:35   #14
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You guys are creating a legacy for many years to come.

Its such an honour to be involved in such labour of love.

Best of Luck to your endeavour. Next time I am in Lucknow I am going to look up at the tower with a sense of pride for having known what is going on behind the scenes.
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Old 5th June 2010, 08:43   #15
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Sir any update on the restoration project. Did the tower regained its structural integrity.
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