January 7 meeting

January 7, 2016

The South London Branch Grand Tour of Switzerland

Grahame Brooks Hon FBHI

We are delighted to open the New Year with a talk by our own Grahame Brooks Hon FBHI on the South London Branch’s “Grand Tour of Switzerland.”

Last May, 18 members including some from Ipswich and Milton Keynes branches left by Swiss flight LX317 to Zurich, in the North East of the country.

The tour planned by Peter Elliott FBHI, with help from the Swiss Travel Service, visited six museums, one major watch manufacturer and a cable car!

GT

Travelling by coach and staying in excellent hotels, the group’s tour will be retold by Grahame with digital images showing many of the horological treasures, both antique and modern, they were privileged to see. The tour starting from Zurich in the North East, via Neuchatel and La Chaux-de-Fonds, to Geneva in the South West covered some 350 miles.

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Grahame, who retired almost 20 years ago is one of our original Branch members, being No.3!  After a life time in the Watch business, including a year working in Switzerland, he has been a Contributor to Wristwatch and QP magazines, as well as the HJ.

Grahame is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

 

 

December 3 meeting

Engine Turning

Philip Whyte Hon FBHI

The final lecture of 2015 will be given by our own Philip Whyte. Philip is this year’s Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a Director of Charles Frodsham & Co. He is also a member of the George Daniels Trust Advisory committee and a Vice President of the BHI.

Philip believes you need to physically handle as many clocks and watches as possible in order to fully appreciate what top makers really had achieved.

This lecture on Engine Turning, explores mankind’s ingenuity in creating machines that could, both replicate and repeat, a fixed pattern on an object.

The talk embraces the early days of these mechanisms and continues right up until the typical Rotary and Straight-line machines, which were produced in Birmingham as recently as 50 years ago.

The huge range of objects that were Engine Turned will be explored, and the reasons for doing so, which surprisingly were not always done from a decorative standpoint.

The lecture will show how Engine Turning was used to great advantage by clock and watchmakers, both in England and abroad.

How, although the overall Engine Turning trade has declined, many contemporary watchmakers are now incorporating it into their products

In addition, the principle of how these machines work, and how one might use them from a practical viewpoint, will be covered. Tool sharpening and tool angles details will be shown for those of a ‘hands-on’ nature in the audience, and design considerations for those who might be contemplating making something that could be Engine Turned.

 

November 5 auction

Branch Auction

The branch auction is one of the highlights of the calendar for many of our members. It is a chance to grab a bargain or make a bit of extra cash by selling those unwanted horological items.

There is always something for everyone at this event, so why not dig out those horological treasures that have been lurking under the bench or in the back of the cupboard, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much they realise.

This is a private auction and is therefore only open to members of the BHI (including Branch members) and horology students from West Dean College. Please bring proof of membership to enable us to issue a bidding number.

Booking in will commence at 18:30 in the Lindley Room.

Viewing will commence in the main hall at 19:00. NO LOTS WILL BE TAKEN IN AFTER 19:45 to allow time for administration and for a prompt start at 20:15.

Payments up to £100 are required to be made in cash. By prior arrangement and agreement with the Treasurer we will accept cheques for total payments over £100.

No commission is charged to buyers. Sellers only pay £1.50 per lot entry. If you wish to set a reserve you must bid up to that price and collect your lot at the end of the evening if not sold.

We reserve the right to refuse any lots containing fluids / powders and the like that are not in secure & sealed containers.

Electrical / electronic items are sold with no guarantee as to their condition or safety. All such equipment should be checked by a suitably qualified electrician.

Full auction rules will be clearly displayed

October, 2015 meeting

AGM followed by a talk from our own Jack Hobson

This meeting will be a two stage event. Firstly there will be the AGM where you have the opportunity to find out the current state of branch affairs. There will be reports from the Chairman and Treasurer followed by any questions, and the election of the committee for the coming year.

Please remember to vote at the AGM you must be a member of both our Branch and the BHI at Upton Hall.

Now for our Star Turn!!

Bluffers Guide to the Strength of Materials and Heat Treatment of Steel 

Why are some materials strong and others weak? What is special about iron? What is the best heat treatment for a particular steel?
The material science behind these questions is complicated, however a good level of understanding is easy to achieve. Some simple conclusions and insights will be presented which, if recounted with confidence, will convince others (less prepared) of your expertise.

Jack Hobson is a dilettante of many disciplines including mechanical engineering, metallurgy,   blade-smithing (and recently horology). True to his name, he is Jack of all trades…

October 1 meeting

AGM followed by: Bluffers Guide to the Strength of Materials and Heat Treatment of Steel 

Why are some materials strong and others weak? What is special about iron? What is the best heat treatment for particular steel?

AGM followed by a talk from our own Jack Hobson

This meeting will be a two stage event. Firstly there will be the AGM where you have the opportunity to find out the current state of branch affairs. There will be reports from the Chairman and Treasurer followed by any questions, and the election of the committee for the coming year.

Please remember to vote at the AGM you must be a member of both our Branch and the BHI at Upton Hall.

Now for our Star Turn!!

Bluffers Guide to the Strength of Materials and Heat Treatment of Steel 

Why are some materials strong and others weak? What is special about iron? What is the best heat treatment for a particular steel?
The material science behind these questions is complicated, however a good level of understanding is easy to achieve. Some simple conclusions and insights will be presented which, if recounted with confidence, will convince others (less prepared) of your expertise.

Jack Hobson is a dilettante of many disciplines including mechanical engineering, metallurgy,   blade-smithing (and recently horology). True to his name, he is Jack of all trades…

September, 2015 meeting

The Beresford Hutchinson Memorial Lecture

Conservation of the Pyke Organ Clock for Temple Newsam

Malcolm Archer FBHI

The Pyke Organ Clock

Our speaker this month is Malcolm Archer FBHI who since 2007 has been working as a self-employed clockmaker based near Chichester.

He is also employed as one of the Associate Tutors on the Clocks programme at West Dean College, providing tutoring as well as specialised training in small work such as carriage clocks.

Following his initial horological training at Hackney College in 1998 Malcolm went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation/ Restoration of Antique Clocks at West Dean College obtaining a pass with distinction.
The Pyke Clock Project headed up by Malcolm is the result of a collaboration between Leeds Temple Newsam House and West Dean College.

George Pyke, a clockmaker and organ builder, working in eighteenth century London. Along with his father John Pyke, George was an associate of the eminent English clockmaker Charles Clay.

Transported to West Dean in early February 2014, the clock, circa 1765, consists of a near eight-foot-high ebonised case containing the clock movement, automaton dial and barrel organ with pipes in wood and metal. The music is played from the large rotating wooden barrel with several thousand individual pins and bridges, each activating a note.

Restoration involved work on the clock movement, automaton dial and barrel organ mechanism together with the ebonised case.

Now working and back at Temple Newsam tonight’s talk is the story of the conservation of this most remarkable clock.

August 6 meeting

For our August meeting we welcome Ashley Strachan to talk to us about Japanese clocks and seasonal hours.
Ashley is secretary of the East of Scotland Branch and a Board Member of the BHI responsible for Finance and Membership development. In March 2014 he was appointed a trustee of the BHI Museum Trust.

Yagura Dokei with two foliots to show seasonal hours
Yagura Dokei with two foliots to show seasonal hours

Ashley’s interest in Japanese clocks was kindled back in 2011 when he visited the Matsumoto Clock Museum during his first holiday in Japan.
It was not until 1873 Japan adopted International Time. Prior to this a system of Temporal Time was used dividing the day into twelve segments, six periods of daylight and six periods of darkness. Any mechanical timepiece required some method of varying the length of the day and night periods according to the season. This led to the design of some complex and interesting clocks.
In case you were thinking the Temporal Time system is now obsolete Ashley has a Japanese temporal time clock on his iPhone!!
For those who like to do their homework Ashley has recently had two articles published in the HJ one in September 2014 – Japanese Clocks and in January 2015 – Japanese Ten Thousand Year Clock.

June 4 Meeting

John Arnold – From Watch to Chronometer

Presented by Paul Tuck

Paul, a Livery member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, graduated from Hackney Technical College.

Paul is a long standing restorer of nineteenth century Swiss musical boxes having repaired hundreds of instruments over the last forty years or so.

Paul has previously written articles for and given lectures to the Antiquarian Horological Society.

This talk on the life and inventions of John Arnold is one not to be missed.

At a recent sale at Bonhams a John Arnold Chronometer sold for £27,500!!

Please remember we are back at our usual Village Hall location.

New videos online

A series of videos are, at the time of writing, partly uploaded to the SLBBHI youtube channel in which Maurice runs through the process of turning a balance staff on the watchmakers lathe using a hand-held graver.

Part one here: