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3rd time is a record-breaking charm for U.K. Clockwinder Martin Thacker

The WAI’s Clockwinding tradition traces back to 1948, when John Rigby first wound the stately Grandfather’s Clock that the British wire drawing industry presented to the Association for help during World War II.

Over the years, many individuals have served as the Clockwinder, but the 2022 Clockwinder, Martin Thacker, has set himself apart from all others: he is the first-ever Clockwinder to serve three years in a row, and he is the first one to have ever performed the duties virtually. On Nov. 3, he came to WAI’s office in Madison, Connecticut, having performed the duties of the ceremony two times before ... yet never having actually touched the clock, as he was home in the U.K., and the clock was wound by a WAI representative in his stead.

Welcomed and introduced by WAI President Jim York, Thacker—who twice was a polished and congenial speaker remotely—was even better in person. “This is my third clockwinding ceremony. In 2020, I was privileged to be asked to wind the clock. However, Covid got in the way and travel became impossible. I was able to complete the ceremony by virtual means. I am the first in the history of our tradition to wind such a prestigious clock through MS Teams.”

Thacker spoke about the Clockwinding tradition, noting that it was important that it was able to continue in some form during an onerous Covid period. “Challenges remain, but 2022 has largely seen a thriving wire and cable industry. Major telecoms continue to expand their networks, and more organizations are adopting industry 4.0 technologies, and demand is strong for fiber optic cables and hybrid cables. More wire and cable trade shows have taken place this year, and they remain “a great place to network, see the latest technology in action and find new partners,” he said.

Thacker observed later that when he was presented a Clockwinder’s tie at an event in the U.K. honoring past Clockwinders by WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll—who was there with WAI President Jim York after going to wire Düsseldorf 2022 in Germany—it had been an awkward moment. “I felt a fraud since I had fast become king of the virtual clockwinding ceremony. Now, having been here in Madison, I can now wear my tie with pride.”

Of note, only one past Clockwinder has wound the clock more than Thacker, and that is the late Terrence Cahill, Somerset Wire, who performed the tradition in 1979, 1989, 1991 and 1997.

Read 216 times Last modified on December 5, 2022