THE MIDSUMMER CHRONOPHAGE | Time Flies This Summer in Cambridge

  • 01 st September 2019 Community

TIME FLIES WHEN YOUR HAVING FUN ⏰|We have LOVED hosting the Midsummer Chronophage this summer, we are sad to see it leaving us this weekend. If you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, join us before 5pm on Saturday 19th October to view it in all it’s glory!

*Midsummer Chronophage will be dismantled from Sunday 20th October – Thursday 24th October. Last chance to visit Saturday 19th October, as the creature eats it’s last minute at 4:59pm!

See the highlights of the official launch RIGHT HERE!

This summer season sees the City of Cambridge as the home for two magnificent Chronophage clocks.  Today, Friday June 21, the day of the summer solstice, sees the official launch of the new Midsummer Chronophage in the Lion Yard Shopping Centre, St Tibbs Row, Cambridge.  The clock features an iridescent blue mythical flying insect on top of a huge 1.5 metre-wide 24-carat gold rippled disc representing the flow of time.  The timepiece is illuminated with bright blue lighting reminiscent of sunny summer dawn skies.

This clock is being loaned to Lion Yard by the renowned inventor and philanthropist, Dr John C Taylor OBE.  In 2008, Dr Taylor created and then donated the Corpus Chronophage clock to his former college, Corpus Christi, where he also funded the Taylor library.

Now aged 82, the designer of bi-metal kettle controls who has over 400 patents to his name said, “Modern art inspired me to produce the Chronophage.  I tasked myself with creating modern art that actually does something – in this case, a clock that entertains and interacts with the viewer.  I don’t like to do anything that’s been done before, so it was necessary to find a new way of telling the time.”

“I pay homage to my hero, the clockmaker John Harrison who won the Longitude Prize in 1714 and who invented the first grasshopper escapement that enabled a navigator to use a clock to find a ship’s position in the middle of the ocean.  Each Chronophage runs using its own huge grasshopper escapement incorporated into a unique time eating mythical creature that moves across the top of the clock face. The word ‘Chronophage’ is derived from the ancient Greek words ‘chronos’ meaning time and ‘phage’ meaning eater.

“The clock is interactive and explores Albert Einstein’s theory of relative time.  The creature speeds up and slows down, sometimes walking backwards and flashing its eyes, to show how time seems to travel at different speeds depending on what we are doing.”

The time is expressed through three concentric circles of lights, starting with hours in the central ring, followed by minutes in the middle ring and then seconds in the outer ring.  Every 59 seconds, the creature ‘eats time’ reminding us that you can never get the minute back, and that we should therefore make the most of every moment.

The clock’s inventor is visiting Cambridge to officially launch the timepiece, which will be on display until the end of British summertime on October 27 2019.

Lion Yard Centre manager Roger Allen said, “Shopping is one of our favourite pastimes, so the Midsummer Chronophage is well placed.  Our visitors will be blown away by this masterpiece, which will make them smile.  We are just four minutes away from the world-renowned Corpus Chronophage clock, which means visitors to the city can see both clocks in just one short visit.”

Dr Taylor has designed a total of four Chronophages. In addition to the two in the City of Cambridge, there is a Dragon Chronophage that lives in Dr Taylor’s home, Arragon Mooar, in the Isle of Man and another bespoke design that resides abroad with a private art collector.

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