The Engineer

Emett water clock

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Lovely memory, Loppy!

 

I often dance round the house, sometimes with a cat in my arms. Sometimes, they humour me...and sometimes they don't! When they don't feel like dancing, I have claw marks in my neck!

 

I think the reason why I don't like that particular piece of Rameau is because either it or another piece from the same Suite turned up in my Association Board exam set pieces around the time the Emmett clock was installed and every time I went in there afterwards, it struck up. It's a bit sewing machine-like and I've never been keen on it.

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I have just finished reading this thread right from the word go. Starting from page one, it were like reading a book on the life of the Emmet clock. Gotta  admit though I  was lost with some of the technicalities posted by The Engineer, but even so, found it fascinating. A pity that some of the photos showed as ' no longer available', so can't comment on peoples replies. It does strike me though that the clock is very high maintenance. Remember seeing it back in the seventies, but it's over 40yrs since I've been in Vic., centre. B.

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Don't know if there were any vidoes earlier but there's few on Youtube, jump to 4.00 mins  to hear it play, there's countdown clock on the bottom right of the video;

 

 

 

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I was joking about Bach's Gigue Fugue, but when you think about it, it is probably one of the most danceable pieces Bach ever wrote.  A good organist's feet have to dance on the pedals to do it justice.  I've never tried to even learn it.  It's way beyond my level.

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For those of you who are not familiar with the Gigue Fugue.  Here it is played by my favorite young Dutch organist, Gert Van Hoef.

 

 

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Or even this, from Partita no, 5, played by the irreplaceable Glenn Gould.  If I'm feeling low in energy, this never fails.

 

 

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I like both pieces and so went browsing Bach on YT. I found this Bach gigue on solo violin, it is now my current favourite. 

 

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It seemed to change music in the 80s

https://www.macearchive.org/films/atv-today-20021973-victoria-centre-clock The original rameu tune.

https://www.macearchive.org/films/central-news-east-24111983-emett-clock IDK what tune it was.

 

Or was it a tune they put on during xmas season?

 

also the 1973 vid also explains emetts reason of using the rameu

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It was such a shame that it was moved to the ‘back door’ end of the Victoria Centre. It deserves to be on more prominent display. I’ve not been in for some years now as the parking charges discourage shopping for those of us who don’t have a ‘bus service into Nottingham and all the stuff in there can be bought online anyway.

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A comment from our resident Philistine (me), " I can't tell the difference"!...   :sorry:

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The tune change was probably an Xmas change from the 80s and went back to the Rameu during the start of January 

 

This might have stopped during the 90s or 2000s

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I can't get the clips to play so I can't help. Never heard it play anything except the Gigue Fugue.

 

There is a You Tube video of Nottingham at Christmas 1990 which shows it playing something I can't identify but which doesn't sound like Rameau. For some reason, I'm not being allowed to post the link.

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On 2/29/2020 at 5:35 PM, The Engineer said:

I was passing yesterday so stopped to check at midday.  The bell rang and the music played.  However the petals (a few of which now look bent) cycled down-up-down-up throughout the performance and the 'orchestra' (three birds and three squirrels) were not spinning.  Looking back in this thread it appears that these faults I observed may have been present for over a year.

 

The cobweb water wheel was turning but several butterflies were not tumbling.  All butterflies look tarnished/verdigris.  One of the 12 water jets looked a bit blocked.

 

I agree with the sentiment of most (all?) who remember it in the lower atrium.  It looks so lost upstairs and I was reminded yesterday how close the three rotating arms at high level come to touching the girders (luck rather than judgement I think).

 

It is coming up for five years since Emma switched it back on (17 June 2015).  How time flies.  Let's hope it still attracts enough coins to make a difference to the chosen charities.

Will you be able to go back and offer your work to move it back to the original location and fix it again? would work better and a new bigger bench frame would be epic when the move happens.

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That clock is five minutes slow. Neither use nor ornament.

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Sad isn't it?

 

There is no way they will move it back.  Even though I gave my time (hundreds of hours) for free they spent something like £75,000 on consultants, architect, surveyor, crane hire, electrical services and tradesmen/materials for the concrete base/GRP liner/glass surround, etc.

 

The Gigue en Rondeau II (composed by Rameau) was the original.  The alternative (some sort of wassailing) was used at Christmas.  However, that was in the days when the music was on an endless loop cassette tape.  All the tapes were lost/damaged (even the Gigue) and the tape deck/amplifier was defunct.  It now plays (when it works) from a CD with one track in a midi hifi system (a music teacher in Birmingham played/recorded it to avoid any issue of royalties).  Intu could change the music by burning another CD (needs 75 seconds duration IIRC).

 

Pete - the Emett Engineer

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As the clock is in the Vic Centre, is it ultimately owned by or under the control of intu ?

 

As intu are currently in administration I assume there won't be much happening with the clock - or anything else there - for quite a while.

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Intu the holding company are in administration.

The various management companies, each centre has it's own, are not in administration.

The profitable centres  are currently being transferred out of the administrators control.

 

I think it's almost certain the INTU name will disappear, maybe Victoria Centre will be the new name.

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During my original research I recall reading that Emett gifted the clock to the then owners of the Victoria Centre.  Despite administration I suspect the centre and shops will persist, meaning that the ownership of the clock will transfer with all other assets.

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The recording of the Gigue it now plays is infinitely better than the original recording which was played at too great a speed and sounded very tinny!  A wasssiling song sounds very like what it was playing at Christmas 1990.

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Ask intu first if you can move it to where it was cause that would be just better.

 

Also the birds and squirrels stopped spinning before the petals raised.

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I think the clock is magic, the way it would work,  and the way it has been designed, doe's anyone know if there is another clock like it anywhere. It was a shame when they moved it from the main entrance to near the end of Victora Center. How many of us woud meet friends at the clock, After it was moved how many people stopped to look and admire the master piece where they placed it at the end of VC people did not have time to stop and look they were to busy catching there bus,

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The instrumental tune of Here we come a-wassailing was played at Christmas during cassette times.

 

Also it would be nice if there was a pi based control panel to work with the clock

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