My version of the Guinness® Festival Clock

As there appears to be some interest in hearing about my latest crazy project, I plan to document it on this website.

Do return often to learn about the latest developments of what could be a two to three year project.

All images in this website marked with an asterisk * are reproduced with permission from the Guinness Archive, Diageo Ireland.

The GUINNESS and GUINNESS STOREHOUSE words are trademarks registered to Diageo Ireland.

First, a bit of background. In 1951, before I was born, part of the Festival of Britain Exhibition was located in Battersea Pleasure Gardens. When I was a young boy in the late 50’s, I recall my parents taking me to the Pleasure Gardens. Apart from "The Big Dipper" rollercoaster, the one thing that really impressed me was the huge (25 foot tall) Festival Clock, commissioned by Guinness of Dublin, which was still there and fully working.


This picture* shows the size of it!

It was the brainchild of the Guinness Advertising Manager Martin Pick, who had trained as an engineer before he entered the world of advertising. Designed by the firm of Lewitt Him, it was constructed by clockmakers Baume and Company Limited of Hatton Garden. The original clock was such a success that Guinness received requests from department stores and theme parks to borrow the clock. To meet these demands, Guinness created eight slightly smaller ‘travelling’ clocks and one miniature five foot version, which toured the coastal tourist resorts of Britain. The clocks were in use for fifteen years until 1966 when they were withdrawn. The original one-fifth scale model of the clock is now on display in the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE® World of Advertising permanent exhibition, where my wife Penny and I recently saw it on two different occasions. We also acquired a liking for Guinness whilst there! More information on the clock may be found on the Guinness Collectors Club website or Biggin Hill History website. More information on the Festival of Britain in the Pleasure Gardens may be found here.


*Original clock in rest state

Colour clock.jpg

*Original clock in active state.

Being one for nostalgia, and a lover of the cartoons of Heath-Robinson and kinetic sculptures of Rowland Emett, it occurred to me that during my forthcoming retirement, I might make my own model of it to go in our garden. With heaps of praise and encouragement from Penny, together with her ‘royal seal of approval’ I started to make progress even before I had reached my retirement birthday! I was keen!!

Here are a couple of pictures, one of the clock in the dormant state and one in the active state, also showing how colourful it was. The clock “performed” for almost five minutes every quarter of an hour, activating one event after another, all based on various Guinness advertising characters.


Penny and myself at Guinness