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Repaired Corpus Clock returns in time for Cambridge graduations and its college’s May Ball

The famous clock makes its first appearance outside Corpus Christi College since its glass was smashed in March


The Corpus Clock is now back on display outside Corpus Christi College, after the clock was consequently removed when its protective glass suffered from vandalism on the evening of the 4th of March.

The famous Chronophage clock made a return in time for the Corpus Christi May Ball, held on the 23rd of June, and remains a popular photo destination for students before and after the nine-hour-long party. Corpus students were delighted that it had returned in time for the ball, with one fresher stating that “it would not have been the same without it.”

It was also back in time for the students that were graduating from Cambridge University last week.

The clock minutes after it was vandalised (Image credit: Patrick Dolan)

The clock, invented by Dr John C. Taylor OBE and inaugurated by Stephen Hawking in 2008, remains one of Cambridge’s most popular tourist attractions due to its distinctive appearance and the intriguing message that lies behind it.

Prof. Ewan St, John Smith, custodian of the clock, told the BBC that it took “a bit of time to reappear.” This is because students were studying for their final exams on the other side of the clock in the Taylor Library, named after the inventor too.

Inside the college library, the distinctive sound of chains moving and a hammer striking the coffin of the clock can be heard, which serves as a reminder to students of the inevitable passing of time.

“Thankfully the glass did its job and there was no damage to the Chronophage itself but it had to be barred up for security reasons and we had to wait for the glass to be replaced”, he stated.

“In the past month or so students have been sitting exams and the library has been in full use, so because of that we thought it best to wait until exams had finished and then get the Chronophage reinstalled.”

The view from within the Taylor Library (Image credit: Patrick Dolan)

On the 27th of June, the newly reinstalled clock enjoyed a one-day flower decoration as a celebration of British Flower Week.

“This is not just a clock that simply tells the time”, Prof. Ewan previously wrote in an email to all Corpus students in November on the birthday of Dr John C. Taylor OBE, inventor of the clock. He added that “many Cambridge colleges have a clock of sorts”, but it remains that “Corpus is the only one with a timepiece that can wave at its visitors.”

The Feast of Corpus Christi was recently celebrated on the 8th of June this year, which marks one of the days that the clock displays its ability to play 50 tricks.

The Tab reported in March that the clock’s protective enclosure was smashed by “a man with a hammer” wearing dark clothing at around 8:45pm on the evening of the 4th of March. The clock itself was not damaged at the time.

Cambridgeshire Police previously confirmed that an investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have yet been made.