Fashionable Watches

UNH Thompson Hall Clock Tower

UNH Thompson Hall Clock Tower


[CLOCK TICKING] The building itself was built in
1892 as the campus’s first official building. In those days, when a building
like this was planned and designed, the clock was as much
a part of the plan for the building as building
the foundation. It was quote, “a seven day
clock,” but there’s a lot of winding that goes into winding
that clock if you let it go for more than two
or three days. During my career we never
let it go more than four or five days. That was about as long as you’d
want to stand there and wind the clock. This antique piece here is how
we used to wind the clock. When the building underwent the
renovation in 2006, that is when they mechanized
it to run off a motor. My relationship now is strictly
just occasionally bringing someone to see this. And what we have here that you
see in there and at this level here is a Howard Clock
operation. 1917 over here. E. E. Lorden. People sign up here. It’s been happening since
the building was built. This looks like a good spot. This is where you came
to leave your mark. I signed it back in and ’77,
’78, when I became responsible for the building at night. But I don’t truthfully
remember where. [LAUGHTER] [CLOCK CHIMING] What you just heard is the
Westminster chime. It’s a 15 minute adjustment. Every 15 minutes it does a
piece, and it does the full cycle on the hour. Then it chimes the number
of hours on the clock. [CLOCK CHIMING] The way the clock was set up
originally is the clock would set up not only the time on the
three faces, but it was also chimed to ring on
the hour upstairs. And a number of years ago,
prior to the renovation, concerns from our neighbors
were that the clock was loud at night. So we stopped ringing the
clock bell at night. And it’s all handled
daytime by speakers from the Alumni Center. A lot of people think it’s
all happening up there, but it’s not. It’s a tape they’re playing? It’s not like a player piano? No. No. It’s a speaker playing a tape? Yep. Speakers are upstairs
and it plays the tape from over there. Of course, then there’s a whole
different perspective of what you get to see when
you go upstairs. Oh, golly gee. This is a little scary. The top step is a big one. Yeah. Best views on campus. From up here, you’ve got a
beautiful green view today. It’s the greatest place on
campus to be in the fall when the foliage is at its peak. But it’s even pretty up
here in the winter. It’s pretty cold. But when you don’t have leaves
on the trees then you can actually see from here
to Portsmouth. It’s a whole different
perspective from up here. This bell was cast at the
Meneely Foundry in Troy, New York, in 1893. It no longer swings. It’s too well-balanced. If you pull that rope downstairs
now, it will stay. It will ring, but it
will ring once. [CLOCK CHIMING] The speakers are warming up. So just so you’re aware, the
speakers are going to do a two o’clock Westminster chime. It’ll be loud because we’re
lucky because it’s only going to ring twice. It’s an interesting place to
be when it does all 12. [CLOCK CHIMING] Oh, wow. That can damage your hearing. You really ought to
cover your ears. If it’s not already shot, I’m
not going to worry about it. [LAUGHTER] [CLOCK TICKING] Students and staff see T-Hall
from an outside perspective. And you don’t really see T-Hall
as an inside place unless you work here or
have a meeting here. By just being in the building,
it’s a total different place than a lot of people
think it is. But when you get away from the
first, second, and third floors and you’re up here, it’s
even more strange because it’s like, wow, I didn’t
know this was here. [CLOCK CHIMING] It’s a unique experience. Part of life at UNH. [CLOCK CHIMING]


Reader Comments

  1. There is an actual electronic carillon in the Alumni Center. My music theory teacher here at UNH is in charge of it; he brought our class there once to see it! The songs are input digitally through a keyboard, then the program rings the carillon bells in the alumni center based on what they are programmed to play at certain times. They are actual PHYSICAL bells, NOT a "tape." However, the bells aren't shaped like the bells you may be thinking of. They are actually sets of thin metal rods being struck by hammers. This allows for several sets of bells with different timbres to be kept in one small room! When they are played in the alumni center, the sound is sent to Thompson Hall and is played over the speakers.

  2. Very nice presentation!

    Plus, for the courtesy of you and others who view this, there are actually words for the Westminster chime and they are below if you want to read them while listening or sing along when it is played in its entirety, which occurs at the 3:51 mark.

    Lord, through this hour,
    be Thou our guide.
    So, by Thy power,
    no foot shall slide.

    These words are based on Psalm 37:23-24, where David the psalmist declares this:

    The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delighteth in His way.
    Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.

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