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.

September 3 Meeting

The Beresford Hutchinson Memorial Lecture

Our speaker this month is Malcolm Archer FBHI who will be presenting on the conservation of the Pyke Organ Clock for Temple Newsam.

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

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:

March Auction – closed

28 March Auction

The South London Branch Auction, 28th March 2015.

To be held at The White Hart Barn, Godstone, RH9 8DU.

The hall opens for viewing at 11.00 and the auction will commence at 13.30. Tea and coffee
will be available. There are cafés and pubs within walking distance of the White Hart Barn.

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. Non members may join the South London Branch of the BHI at our normal annual membership rate prior to the auction.

  • There will be a £3 registration fee.
  • Payments up to one hundred pounds to be made in cash.
  • By prior arrangement and agreement from the treasurer we will accept
    cheques for total purchases of over one hundred pounds. Please bring
    proof of identification, including address, on the day.
  • The items shown in the photos are a selection of what is on offer and are not necessarily shown as being in any particular lot.
  • Please see our Auction Conditions.

Auction conditions – sale March 28 2015

All enquiries to the South London Branch –

Please click on the thumbnails to view images.

26 item(s)

April, 2015 Meeting

2nd April 2015

The History of Metals and its Influence on Clock Development

Chris McKay FBHI

How much do we know about the metals we use everyday

Chris will start with the history of how Iron, Steel, Zinc and Brass were commercially produced over the centuries. Starting in 1386 the supposed date of the Salisbury Cathedral Clock to 1900 when social and economic conditions determined a downturn in clock production.



With the metallurgical history established Chris will then go on to chart the development of clock production identifying marker points in horology that can be attributed to the metals available. Domestic as well as Turret Clocks will be considered.

bloom out of furnace

Bloom out of the furnace

Looking to the future Chris will speculate on the discoveries that may be made using the bewildering array of tools and techniques available today.

Chris, a Chartered Electronics Engineer is Chairman of the Dorset Clock Society and a prolific author. His books “The Turret Clock Keeper’s Handbook” and “Big Ben – The Great Clock and the Bells at the Palace of Westminster” are seen as the definitive works on these subjects.


A regular contributor to the HJ Chris has provided both articles and authoritative book reviews. Risking the attention of every Health & Safety Officer in the land the November 2013 issue covered working with molten lead in a practical and safe way for the clock enthusiast.

Aged 11 Chris started to take alarm clocks apart and by age 13 had learnt to put them back together again! At the age of 19 he worked on his first Turret Clock and has been fascinated by horology ever since.

This is a talk not to be missed!