Watch: Inside Nottingham Council House clock bell room as custodian retires after 32 years

Video: David winds the clock for the last time and the bell chimes for a quarter past.

The custodian of Nottingham’s Council House clock said he was “very sad” to be winding it for the last time after 32 years in the job – but his love of timepieces means he’ll be kept busy for years to come.

David Lyon, from Beeston, has been looking after the workings and ‘Little John’ – the big bell – since 1985.

But at 75 he’s retiring from the role, which is physically demanding thanks to the 77 steps to the top of the tower which he climbs every day.

On Friday he wound the mechanism for the last time, saying he would miss council colleagues and the privilege of taking care of one of the city’s most famous landmarks, but he will keep busy by still running his own clock company.

Video: David’s fondest memory from working in the clock and bell room.

“It’s very sad, but life goes on,” he said.

“Among my fondest memories of the job is Millennium night – I was up here to make sure the clock chimed to the second for midnight. I was out on the top parapet and there must have been twenty or thirty thousand people on Old Market Square.

“I was up here with my youngest son and we actually stood and watched – we did have a glass of scotch in our hand at the time – we saw the firework display straight off the castle – and the atmosphere was out of this world.”

He added: “I’ll keep working and running my own business. That’s still going to be my job.”

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The Council House clock and bell system dates back to 1928.

The Council House clock was designed in 1928 by Copes, a long-established local jewelers and clock-makers who Mr Lyon trained with, before establishing his own clock and watch repairing business more than 50 years ago.

The main bell of the five is known as Little John, and weighs 10.5 tonnes. On a clear day it can be heard from a distance of 7.5 miles.

Specialist clock company Smith of Derby is taking over the running of the clock.

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