September 7 meeting

Edmund Howard (1710-98) A Quaker Clockmaker in Chelsea

Dr James Nye

By sheer chance, James was alerted in the summer of 2016 to the existence of a manuscript autobiography, compiled in 1785, which has been widely used by historians but apparently escaped notice by horologists. It was written in the 1780s by a struggling Chelsea clockmaker, Edmund Howard—a maker virtually unrecorded in the horological literature, who nevertheless left us a remarkably detailed and rich account of his life. A Quaker, yet with few good words for his fellow Friends, Howard lived a long and fascinating life through the bulk of the eighteenth century. James has researched further contextual detail of Howard’s life, and attempted to recover details of his known clocks. He will present the fruits of that research for the first time, in anticipation of publication in Antiquarian Horology in the coming months.

Dr James Nye is Chairman of the AHS, and the founding sponsor of The Clockworks museum in West Norwood. He has had a lifelong interest in electrical horology, and has been Secretary of the AHS Electrical Horology Group for twenty years. He is a member of the Court of the Clockmakers’ Company, and is chairman of its Collections Committee. His book, A Long Time in Making (OUP: 2014) charts the history of Smiths Group.

 

 

 

 

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August 3, 2017

20th Century domestic clocks of England and Wales

Bill Wolmuth

Today, there is a growing appreciation of twentieth century mechanical clocks many of which are superb examples of industrialised production and have complex mechanisms which have proven to be long-lived and reliable. Examples of such clocks are still commonplace and may be found for as little as a few pounds with little wrong with them.

In 2004, two amateur horologists, John Glanville and Bill Wolmuth, embarked on a project to research the history of industrialised manufacture of domestic mechanical clocks in England & Wales in the twentieth century and to form a representative collection of such clocks for the British Museum. The project took ten years to complete and culminated in more than 250 clocks being collected for the Museum, to form what is now known as ‘The Glanville & Wolmuth Collection’, and the recent publication of an illustrated reference book on the subject.

As the majority of these clocks are not marked with the manufacturer’s name or trademark, people have previously found identifying the maker and history of most of them problematic. Fortunately, in undertaking research to form the collection for the Museum, Glanville and Wolmuth have established how to identify and date almost all such clocks.

In his lecture to the Branch, Bill Wolmuth will outline the research undertaken and discuss the company history and clocks of the more significant manufacturers, including The British United Clock Company; Clarion; Davall; Enfield; FW Elliott; Garrard; Gillett & Johnston; JJ Elliott; Newbridge Clocks; Norland; Perivale; Smiths; Tame Side Clocks; and Williamson.

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July 6, 2017

THE UPS and DOWNS of the GREENWICH TIME BALL

Anna Rolls

In a change to our published programme we are very pleased to welcome Anna Rolls from the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Anna works as a conservator at Greenwich, home to one of the best known time balls of all. The subject of recent conservation work it is now working again but further work is planned. While exploring its history, Anna will also focus on a wide variety of challenges that are faced. For example the time ball has both internal and external parts–the latter having to face the elements–and like any horological object it is expected to endure endless repeated operations. Beyond service issues, there is the unique challenge of existing within an institution, where many different people may play a part. The everyday operation of an object can be influenced by the programme of work of several different departments.

This talk promises to give a “behind the scenes” view of conservation activities that the public do not get to hear about!

As with the June meeting there will be a small selection of wristwatches offered for sale by auction along with a selection reasonably priced horological books. The six watches are shown below.

6 item(s)

Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone

THE WHITE HART BARN

(Godstone Village Hall)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

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June 1, 2017

June 1, 2017

THE NEWLY FOUND HISTORY OF DROCOURT AND JACOT CARRIAGE CLOCKS

Leigh Extence

For our June 1st meeting we welcome Leigh Extence from Exeter. Leigh is a third-generation antique dealer whose interest in the high quality workmanship of Drocourt and Jacot drove him to research the hidden depths of these esteemed carriage clockmakers.

In Leigh’s own words:

“In the early 1980s, whilst working with horological dealer and author Derek Roberts in Kent, I took an interest in Jacot carriage clocks, an interest that was to re-emerge some years later having set up on my own account as an antique clock dealer and consultant.
Having bought a rather rare example of a Jacot clock I decided to dig a little deeper and found that by comparison with other major clockmakers, that which had been written about the Jacot family was either rather scant or incorrect. I spent a number of years unearthing as much as I could about both the family and their clocks before holding an exhibition of some thirty examples in 2013. Having realised there was a previously unknown connection between the Jacot and Drocourt families I then undertook the same research for Drocourt and held a further exhibition of Drocourt clocks the following year.
My research has taken in the families, their working practices and their clocks and having undertaken this study I almost feel part of their lives; indeed on finding the death certificate of Pierre Drocourt I felt close to tears!
There have been many exciting surprises over the course of this research; being finally able to identify early pre-1860 ‘unsigned’ Henri Jacot carriage clocks was one, as was being able to verify the relationships with their movement makers; the Baveux and Holingue families of Saint-Nicolas-d’Aliermont, which has now become a further area of research.”

Leigh will be bringing along a number of rare and interesting Carriage Clocks to illustrate his talk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special note

The folowing wristwatches will be available to view ahead of auction before the talk commences:

5 item(s)

Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone

THE WHITE HART BARN

(Godstone Village Hall)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

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Peter test

STUDENTS FROM WEST DEAN COLLEGE – PRESENTATIONS

Matthew Read MA ACR

For our May meeting we welcome Matthew Read and his students from West Dean College. This annual event gives the students a chance to try their hand at public speaking and us the opportunity to hear what is going on in horological education. Students will present on a project that makes up a major part of their coursework for qualification in restoration and conservation of antique clocks. The evening promises good variety and an opportunity for lively discussion.

Stephen      “Why make tools on an FDA Clock making course?”

Eliott            Pierre Leroy’s principles on accurate timekeeping following a description of                          “la Montre A”

Ben               TBA

Fjodor          TBA

Jonathan     TBA

Daniela         Trialling microcontroller technology in dynamic heritage objects

Greg              Swaged pivot holes in 18th century brass clock plates

Dale              The role of culture on the development of clockmaking in Edo period Japan                            (1603 – 1867)

Matthew      Packing for transportation – conservation materials and techniques

Please note the meeting is not at our normal venue but at
The Endeavour Scouting Hall across the road

Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone

THE WHITE HART BARN

(Godstone Village Hall)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

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May 4, 2017

STUDENTS FROM WEST DEAN COLLEGE – PRESENTATIONS

Matthew Read MA ACR

For our May meeting we welcome Matthew Read and his students from West Dean College. This annual event gives the students a chance to try their hand at public speaking and us the opportunity to hear what is going on in horological education. Students will present on a project that makes up a major part of their coursework for qualification in restoration and conservation of antique clocks. The evening promises good variety and an opportunity for lively discussion.

Stephen      “Why make tools on an FDA Clock making course?”

Eliott            Pierre Leroy’s principles on accurate timekeeping following a description of                          “la Montre A”

Ben               TBA

Fjodor          TBA

Jonathan     TBA

Daniela         Trialling microcontroller technology in dynamic heritage objects

Greg              Swaged pivot holes in 18th century brass clock plates

Dale              The role of culture on the development of clockmaking in Edo period Japan                            (1603 – 1867)

Matthew      Packing for transportation – conservation materials and techniques

Please note the meeting is not at our normal venue but at
The Endeavour Scouting Hall across the road

 

 

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April 6, 2017

Owen Gilchrist will be talking from his bench as he assembles an IWC ‘Fishtail’ 71 calibre. His work will be magnified and projected on a large screen.

The IWC 71

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March 2, 2017

Ticking for Britain – the forgotten history of George W Rickett

For our March lecture, with a change of title to the published programme, we are very pleased to welcome Graham Dolan to present a talk on the work of George W Rickett.

George Rickett worked at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, for nearly 50 years, from 1918 until his retirement towards the end of the 1960s.

Initially assigned to the Time Department which was responsible for both time signals and the testing and rating of the Admiralty’s chronometers, Rickett took charge of the chronometer work following the department’s split at the start of World War 2. At the war’s outbreak, he was evacuated with the chronometers first to Bristol and then to Bradford on Avon. There, with just a small team, he worked tirelessly to keep the armed forces supplied with the properly tested and rated chronometers and watches that they needed, issuing some 21,023 instruments in the last year of the war alone.

In 1948 the Chronometer Department was the first to be moved to the Observatory’s new home at Herstmonceux. Rickett remained its head until the beginning of 1964 when a reorganisation took place resulting in his transfer to the Solar Department.

Graham has written several books and created the website www.royalobservatorygreenwich.org and this evening is an opportunity to meet and discuss the The Royal Observatory with the authoritative voice on its history.

Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone

THE WHITE HART BARN

(Godstone Village Hall)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

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February, 2017 meeting

February 2, 2017

The Derek Pratt Frodsham H4 Watch

Roger Stevenson FBHI

For our February meeting we are delighted to welcome Roger Stevenson FBHI.

After a six year apprenticeship, Roger worked for The Chronometer Section at Herstmonceux before moving to The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, as Senior Conservation Officer responsible for the horological collections. After a number of years as an independent watch and chronometer repairer he joined the Frodsham team undertaking antique restoration and the development of a new wrist watch. He was also closely involved in the completion of Derek Pratt’s H4 project.

When still a boy Derek visited the Science Museum in London and was fascinated to see Harrison’s H2. Later he read Gould’s “The Marine Chronometer, its history and development” and went on to attend The National School of Horology in combination with an apprenticeship with S. Smith and Sons. Around 1997 Derek decided to make his own copy of H4 as a tribute to Harrison and also as a an in-depth study of the timekeeper. Derek was well qualified to undertake this challenge and with his friendly approach he enlisted the help of other talented people including the late Martin Matthews who made the case. Sadly, Derek was not able to finish his H4 but had asked Charles Frodsham and Co. to complete the project.

Roger’s talk including the showing of the film produced by Barbara Darby is an account of the project from conception to completion. Roger will also be bringing along a number of the special tools made by Frodsham’s to complete the watch.

This evening will present a unique opportunity to meet and discuss the details of this memorable project with one of the key people directly involved in its completion.

Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone

THE WHITE HART BARN

(Godstone Village Hall)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

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January 5, 2017 meeting

Restoration of a Railway Clock,

Grenville Johns

We welcome a past Chairman of the Branch to undertake his first full presentation of a major project he undertook. Gren is no stranger to giving lectures as he spent some of his professional life as an IT Instructor, teaching amongst many things how the operating system on the large IBM mainframes of the day worked. He also represented his employers at various user group meetings giving presentations on the various projects he was leading at the time.
He enjoyed the handicraft subjects of woodwork and metalwork at school and although following an academic education path, continued to use the artisan skills as a way of relaxing and meeting the demands of DIY in the home when money was tight.
He got into horology as it seemed that wooden cases and metal movements provided a good opportunity to use his handicraft skills, while fulfilling a desire to find something interesting to do in retirement. He foolishly mentioned this to a lady contractor who was working for him at the time and she promptly produced two clocks from a deceased aunt for attention. He undertook some self education and got both clocks working and thus the horological disease took hold, and the rest as they say is history.
While he was Chairman Gren encouraged all members to consider giving a talk to the branch, so he is about to take is own advice. This talk will take you through the tasks of a major project Gren undertook to restore an incomplete auction lot of a railway clock to working order and pride of place in his clock room. The illustrated talk will cover the tasks he undertook to create/obtain the missing case and movement parts as well as a little conjectural history of the clock.

dcp_0825 grenonbluebell

Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone

THE WHITE HART BARN

(Godstone Village Hall)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

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