Meeting August 4, 2016



 Johan ten Hoeve

For our August meeting we welcome Johan ten Hoeve who will be describing the making of a replica clock for the Shogun’s shrine.
The original clock was given in 1611 by Spanish King Philip to shogun Tokugaw leyasu, who founded the last military government in premodern Japan.
Johan is a second generation Dutch clockmaker, having grown up surrounded by the clocks his father was making and repairing in their family business.
He was initially drawn to furniture-making and studied at Amsterdam’s Hout en Meubileringscollege (2003–2007). His study there, in the design and construction of furniture and objects, combined with experience in his father’s workshop, gave him the desire to create clocks as much about design and aesthetics as about timekeeping.
From Amsterdam he moved to the UK and studied clock conservation and restoration at West Dean College (2007–2010). With the support of his tutor Matthew Read, and Jonathan Betts of the Royal Observatory, he broke new ground at West Dean by creating his masterpiece, a replica of a year-going pendulum clock made by Thomas Tompion for the observatory in 1676. Johan’s clock is now on permanent show in the observatory’s Octagon Room.
Moving to London in 2010, Johan has worked together with noted clockmaker and restorer Julius Schoonhoven at his workshop in south-west London. He also collaborated with James Nye in the design and establishment of The Clockworks, and is now its first conservator-in-residence.

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


(Godstone Village Hall)




7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

July 7, 2016 Meeting


Ron Rose FBHI

For our July talk we welcome our Vice President Ron Rose FBHI. Ron’s contribution to our branch over many years is immeasurable. A past chairman and the driving force behind our very successful workshop, Ron has also written a most respected book, “English Dial Clocks.” With over 50 years of experience in the trade this promises to be an evening to remember.

Ron’s talk will aim to portray the lives of three Clockmakers. James Cole, the father, James Ferguson Cole, the eldest son and his younger brother Thomas Cole.
The two brothers are credited with ingenuity and skills, easily matching all of the famous names of the time, but where did their inspiration come from? With two, 15 minute duration videos, the talk will attempt to suggest the answer, and shift some of the praise to another.
Many of the clock photographs have not been seen before and include a wide range of types and styles. Longcase, bracket, carriage clocks were normal, but tripod, strut, diamond, table top, book cover and dressing table clocks, emphasise not just unusual but absolutely unique.

As you will read in our newsletter we are also very pleased to welcome Dudley Giles Hon FBHI, CEO of the BHI at Upton Hall who will be giving us an update on developments at the BHI.





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


(Godstone Village Hall)



7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

June, 2016 meeting


Phillip Gale FBHI
The meeting on the 2nd June will be back to our usual White Hart Barn venue and we are delighted to welcome Phillip Gale FBHI who will be talking to us about the repair and restoration of Singing Bird Musical Boxes.
Phillip has gained a wide reputation for restoring singing bird musical boxes and people now consult him on a worldwide basis.
He studied horology at Hackney College on day release from his first job in Guildford before moving on to a job at the R.E.M.E. in Aldershot as a civilian watchmaker/ instrument maker.
Four years later he moved to a job in Cornwell and then in 1990 set up his own business.
Philip became a Fellow of the British Horological Institute in 1994, a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1999 and a Liveryman of said company in 2002.
This talk promises an experts insight into the complex mechanisms and workings of these fascinating devices.

Singingbirdgroup Workshop004_2

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


June 2, 2016


(Godstone Village Hall)



7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

May, 2016 meeting

May 5, 2016

Our next meeting will comprise of several presentations from the current crop of horology students at West Dean college. This annual event gives the students a chance to try their hand at public speaking and present on a project that makes up a major part of their coursework for qualification in restoration and conservation of antique clocks. This evening promises good variety and an opportunity for lively discussion.

Cfnctu2WwAEsd80.jpg largeExamples of work from West Dean college, shown at our open day in 2016


Michael Cranefield – More on Cleaning. An update on research into using ‘CleanSpirit’ as a viable clock cleaning solution.

Rob Thompson – Researching the properties of mainsprings using an electronic torque meter to evaluate their characteristics.

Jonathan Turner Bishop – Career change from the Swiss watch industry to the conservation of clocks.

Daniela Corda – Dilemmas of Dynamic Objects. A journey through some of the ethical issues relating to the repair of clocks through case studies.

Ken de Lucca – You always hurt the one you love. A discussion of the historic remaking of a tavern clock and its future.

Nick Western – The turret clock at West Dean by JW Benson.

Fjodor vd Broek – The professional decision making process relating to historic restorations.

Matthew Read – Seven years at West Dean. A review and reflection of some of the highpoints from the past seven years and a glimpse of the future as the college engages more with Higher Education in the 21st century.

Please note that this event will be held at the temporary venue, The Soper Hall in Caterham.

  • Soper Hall, Harestone Valley Road
  • Caterham, CR3 6HY



  • Soper Hall, Harestone Valley Road
  • Caterham, CR3 6HY


April, 2016 meeting


Sid Lines MBHI

For our April meeting we are delighted to welcome Sid Lines MBHI. Many members will remember Sid’s talk on “Workshop Practice – Hints & Tips” and know that we are in for a very practically focused evening. This is a change to our published programme as unfortunately due to a business commitment David Walter cannot be with us and we are very grateful to Sid for stepping in at such short notice.
Sid says “being in engineering for most of my working life has its advantages as most of the required hand skills were brought about by lots of practice. During the practice there was also a large amount of small machine tool work (lathes / milling etc.) again helping greatly when it comes to making replacement parts and methods of repair.”
The talk covers the restoration of a clock purchased at a branch auction some four years ago and shows how Sid used his engineering ideas to make the missing parts plus a small amount of carpentry.
The clock by a local “Maidstone” maker is a good example of a small double fusee in a pleasant rose wood veneered case.
Sid hopes we will enjoy the talk as much as he enjoyed restoring the clock – I am sure we will!!


Open day

Saturday 9th April 2016. 10am until 4pm at Soper Hall, Caterham

A unique opportunity to view demonstrations of the skills used in clock and watch making and to participate in several projects. Expert advice on related careers and courses.

Maybe you will be encouraged to join!

All ages welcome. Free entry. Free refreshments.


Read about the history and importance of time measurement. View a selection of antique tools used in making clocks and watches.
Clocks and models built by BHI members.

Cleaning, polishing, silvering a two pence piece
Make a keyring or spinning top from a two pence piece.
Working on the watchmakers lathe – balance staff turning.
Hand tools – piercing saw and files.
Engine Turning interactive demonstration.
Clockwork wheel cutting

Courses and Careers
Work from the local evening classes and workshop.
BHI short courses.
West Dean College – conservation of clocks.
British School of Watchmaking
Birmingham City University – Horology BA (Hons).
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.
Charles Frodsham and Co Ltd.

For Sale
Selection of coffee table books for sale.
H S Walsh horology supplies – tools and clock parts – assemble a clock from available parts (from £5)

Pop-in for complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits

March 3 meeting


Tim Richman Gadoffre

For our March meeting we are delighted to welcome Tim Richman Gadoffre, an independent applied arts specialist. His talk will explore the techniques used by Fabergé in the design and manufacture of clocks.

Passionate about the history of the applied arts, Tim enjoys working with museum curators and leading arts organisations in the UK, Europe, Russia and the USA. His keen interest is in guilloché enamel, seen in the work of the 18th, 19th and early 20th century goldsmiths.

With his special interest in the design and manufacturing techniques of pre-1918 Fabergé, Tim has built an extensive archive containing records of over 12,000 Fabergé pieces. His research into the firm’s unique know-how, combined with his understanding of Geometry & Proportion, is seen as ground-breaking by other experts in this specialist field.


Since June 2004, Tim has focused on actualising into reality his passion for fine craftsmanship and tangible manufacturing. Bringing together a team of master craftsmen and independent goldsmiths, he designs and oversees the fabrication of one-off objets d’art and fine jewellery, as well as progressing his R&D into guilloché enamel.

This promises to be an enthralling evening giving a rare insight into the history and world of Fabergé, superbly illustrated with many images from Tim’s personal archive.

February 4 meeting


Richard Edwards

The bracelet watch for ladies was well over a hundred years old by the First World War but men wore them too! What did they look like? How would you recognize a true early wristwatch from a “conversion” if you came across one today? I hope to shine a light on the early history of the wristwatch which until now has been veiled in legend and misinformation.

Richard Edwards is a semi-retired watch restorer and tutor and sometime Technology teacher. He qualified in watchmaking in 1979 from Hackney College while already working as a teacher.

If you have an early wristwatch known or suspected to be pre-WW1 please bring it along to the meeting.


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!


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.


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.