The Singleton Museum is preparing for a busy few weeks in March and April this year.
Two coach companies (one from Port Macquarie, the other based in the Newcastle area) have booked visits to the Museum in March. The Newcastle group have also booked a lunch spot in Singleton and will then do a Town Tour, guided by Patrick Quinn.
Two local schools have booked visits in April for their junior pupils with museum members digging deep into the storeroom to find articles suitable for a ‘hands-on’ experience for the students.
The museum will participate in Sacred Spaces ‘Antique Roadshow’ on 6 April. This will be followed in mid-April by participation in activities organised by the Town Library for their History Month.
Early in February the museum was visited by two horologists who took six hours to dismantle the railway clock, clean all the parts, and then re-assemble them.
The clock has been 'tick-tocking' away ever since. It is wound once every week.
The Museum received the Singleton Railway Station clock from the Commissioner of Railways at the end of 1974, when it had stopped working after 111 years and was replaced at the railway by a smaller clock.
The railway from Newcastle reached Singleton in May 1863 where it terminated until the bridge was built over the Hunter River.
The railway to Muswellbrook was opened in May 1869.
Singleton, being a terminus for a few years, was regarded as an important station, receiving the large railway clock for its platform. It was the eleventh clock issued by the Government.
As the railway expanded from Sydney and from Newcastle, forty-one large clocks were issued to important stations.
The mechanism was made in England, the case made in Australia. All cases ended up being the colour of the station they were attached to.
Contract painters found it easier to paint station walls and anything attached to them with the same colour paint.
In the past, a couple of attempts were made to repair the clock, but it would only tick-tock away for an hour or so. The clock has now been working continuously for four weeks.