June meeting

SID LINES                                  WORKSHOP PRACTICE – HINTS AND TIPS

Lots of useful tips, presented with great clarity!!


Pre-talk blurb read:

This month’s talk is “Hints and Tips” it will have an Engineering slant to it, but will be useful to people that make clocks or clock parts on a regular basis.
The talk starts with a couple of Sid’s favourite gripes, followed by a section on some useful tips on the uses of a
lathe and cutters.
The second section is practical tips on how to get the best from a small milling machine like setting the machine and vice correctly plus some useful tips on cutter alignment.
The last part of the talk covers compression and tension spring making , drills and their uses plus some other odd
things to help in the workshop like pin making and flattening of metals etc.
Regulars at the South London Branch will remember Sid as chairman of the Kent branch. His engineering knowledge combined with his straight talking style will make an interesting and informative talk. I am sure we all will learn

R & A ?

Norvin wrote:
I am sure one of you will Know why on a number of German clocks is there a large R ↓ A on the pendulum?5245551_3_l

Hi Norvin
This appears on many clocks Retard or Advance R – A
Just like Slow or Fast S – F

May meeting – clockmaking


Clockmaking – Cornelia & George de Fossard


Cornelia and George de Fossard’s recently constructed miniature longcase clock appeared on the front cover of the February horological journal. Please join us as Cornelia and George take us on what promises to be a fascinating journey into modern-day clockmaking.




Cornelia served an apprenticeship to a carpenter and cabinet maker in Germany before heading to the UK to further her skills at West Dean college near Chichester. Now self-employed as a furniture restorer, she has an extensive range of of skills including carving, gilding and turning to mention just three.


George served a four year apprenticeship in mechanical engineering then went on to read Mechanical Design, Materials and Manufacture at the University of Nottingham. After a spell working in design engineering, he re-trained as a clockmaker at West Dean College.


George and Cornelia now run a business together based in Frome, Somerset specialising in the design and manufacture of fine quality handmade clocks. Cornelia also undertakes the conservation and restoration of early English furniture and clock cases.




April meeting – Music boxes

Music Boxes and Automata – Ted Brown

Have you ever been fascinated by mechanical music automata or novelties?

It is most likely if you love clocks watches you will have come across such items either included in a musical clock or watch. Mechanical music has been celebrated and used long before the pendulum was introduced to horology.P6140753 (1)

Our speaker this month has taken his fascination for Mechanical Music boxes to a higher level. The highly respected Ted Brown has been collecting all of his life assembling a small museum of these Victorian artefacts. He will bring along a selection from his collection and talk to us on Music Boxes, Small Automata, and Novelties. Ted does not normally talk on his subject outside of his museum.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing one of our visits last year, to a private collection of clocks music boxes and cars, Ted has offered to give us a guided tour of his collection at “The Victorian Music Room” later this year. Ted will discuss methods of restoration and repair and is happy to answer any technical questions we may have.

Savage two-pin lever escapement

01South London Branch member, Antonio Silva, sent these pictures of a carriage clock with savage two-pin lever escapement that had been on his bench recently. When he started to dismantle the platform escapement, he was surprised to find a red powdery deposit that had built up around the balance staff and lever. At first he thought it might be polishing compound such as rouge.


On closer inspection it turned out that one of the two pins on the roller had been replaced with a polished steel pin and through constant contact with the steel lever had worn and the subsequent dust had oxidized into powdery rust.04

The pins on the Savage escapement were usually gold and do wear and so it is normal to see replacements but, from this example, it is clear that steel replacements are not a good idea.

March meeting – practical demonstrations

Our March meeting was somewhat of a break from the norm, with a series of practical demonstrations from a number of branch members. Thanks to the wonders of technology, the demonstrations were (almost entirely) projected onto a large screen for the audience’s convenience.

An artist's impression of the March meeting



Maurice Fagg – a video demonstration of re-pivoting a watch pinion

Duncan Grieg – turning on the clockmakers’ throw

James Marten – using a clock mainspring winder

Ron Rose – using the piercing saw

Alan White – the construction and use of an electronic dividing tool