Peter Gosnell, who along with his and Beresford’s research into the British United Clock Co., has contributed talks to us in the past notably in June 2018, “Industrial Clock Manufacture in Birmingham Before 1885” and April 2019, “The Untold Story of British Jerome”.
Peter will be talking about Joseph Ives, the Connecticut clock manufacturer and his Lever Spring (sometimes called “Wagon Spring” ) clocks.
Circa 2000 Peter became a volunteer member of staff under Jonathan Betts at what was then called The Old Observatory, Greenwich. By association, this gave him access to some examples of Lever Spring clocks in both public and private collections in the UK. Between the years 2001 – 2008 further research on Lever Spring clocks was undertaken during Peter’s yearly visits to America when once again access to rarer clock examples was forthcoming.
In 1847 Silas B. Terry, the youngest clock making son of Eli Terry, invented a process for hardening and tempering high carbon steel to make coil springs suitable for driving clock movements. Before this in England and Europe, the process had been a closely guarded secret giving them monopoly of supply to American clock makers. Prior to 1847 there had been two alternatives devised in Bristol, Connecticut to the use of these expensive imported steel coil springs.
One developed by Joseph Ives’s nephew, Joseph Shaylor Ives in 1836, used brass instead of steel to make the coil springs. The other solution developed by Joseph Ives himself from 1817 until 1859 made use of the leaf spring in conjunction with an equalising device. This development of the lever spring by Joseph Ives will be the major focus of tonight’s talk.
The meeting was held at The White Hart Barn in Godstone and made accessible via Zoom to those unable to attend.
Due to the government’s plan to remove all legal limits on meetings and social gatherings being changed from the 21st of June to the 19th of July, Peter Gosnell’s talk which was scheduled for this meeting has been temporarily postponed. We are incredibly grateful to Keith Scobie-Youngs, director of the Cumbia Clock Company, who has agreed at the last minute to stand in on the Zoom platform for what we sincerely hope will be our last talk in Lockdown.
Many of you will remember Keith’s talk, at the Beresford Hutchinson Lecture 2019, on the Tower clocks of Hampton Court. Who can forget that double remontoire Gillet and Bland movement?
For the 1st July Zoom lecture he has agreed to enlighten us on The Remarkable City Career of Aynsworth Thwaites. Using the archive of the Clockmakers Library and personal experience working with turret clocks from the 1980s, Keith has pieced together the history of Aynsworth (1719 – 1794) father of John Thwaites who partnered with Jeremiah Reed to become Thwaites and Reed one of the most prolific makers of domestic and tower clocks in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The South London Branch is delighted to welcome Seth Kennedy. Seth is an antiquarian horologist who specialises in working on antique pocket watches. He works on movements from the 17th to 20th century, restoring the movements of these vintage masterpieces and even restoring their cases. He often must make bespoke parts even complete cases.
He is an accredited member of the BHI who came to horology after redundancy in the mechanical engineering field. Mentored by Ray Bell, he cherishes a signed copy of The Watchmaker by George Daniels, former president of the South London branch. Seth has excelled in learning our craft even studying and learning the art of engine turning.
Duncan Greig recounts a trip to America to set up Mr Coldwell’s masterpiece at the residence of Mr Donald Saff, Maryland, in 1996.
“During lockdown tidying things up as we all have been doing, ! came across an old photograph album. This reminded me of how good Horology has been, not only meeting likeminded and interesting people but taking me to America on more than one occasion. I have contacted Donald Saff, current owner of Clock B, asking for permission to share with you photographs of the trip made to install Mr Caldwell’s Masterpiece.
This enormous clock I first came across reading Royer Collard’s book on Skeleton Clocks. The clock being built 1926 was the work of Mr George Caldwell of Holmfirth. My host was extremely kind, and we visited the home and workshops of Durward Center, Baltimore, where my horological appetite was fed some more. I hope to show you some unusual pieces of horology that many of us in the UK have not experienced.”
The Trials and Tribulations of constructing a one wheeled clock
For our February zoom meeting The South London Branch welcomes our own Alan White.
Alan will be talking about the construction of his one-wheel clock, based upon a clock by Pierre Le Roy.
July 2013, we had a meeting entitled Clockmaking in Soho, Birmingham, given by David Hornsey. We learned of a one wheeled clock, patented by Dr William Small in 1773 which appealed to Alan’s love of the unusual. On a subsequent visit to the British Museum students’ room, in September 2013 curator Oliver Cooke, showed him the Leroy one wheel clock which became the inspiration for the clock he made and will talk of tonight. The journey was not without its trials and tribulations, which I hope he will share with us.
Alan has been a branch member for many years and has served on the committee for ten years. His main interest is the construction of new clocks, he is a retired Structural and Civil Engineer. His interest in Horology began back in 1973, newly qualified he decided to take the BHI evening course in Horology at Hackney Technical College, Mare Street. This facility sadly closed in the 1990’s, But this was where Alan studied a theoretical and practical three-year course consisting of three nights a week, inspiring his love of Horology.
The restoration of three watches by
‘Messrs: Leroux, Roskell, Mudge & Dutton’.
The South London Branch is delighted to
welcome back Graham
Morse, from the Wessex branch who many of you
will remember gave us a fantastic talk in February 2020. For those of you who
have not attended the speaker’s previous talk hear is a brief resume of his
involvement in horology in his own words.
“Before retiring from Xerox in 2013, I had been fascinated by
horology since I bought, on a whim at a local auction some 30 years before, a
French black marble mantel clock. After repairing it, and in the process being
persuaded by a local clockmaker to join the BHI Wessex Branch, I progressed
from these clocks, via a brief foray into wristwatches, to the world of English
watches from the 18th and early 19th centuries. I think much of the attraction
of this field for me lies in the largely handmade nature of these pieces and the
complexity of the trade, comprising such a multiplicity of crafts, which
produced them. The nature of their manufacture frequently gives rise to the
necessity to make replacement parts from the raw materials, something I
sometimes find challenging but always most rewarding.
My involvement with the Wessex Branch has deepened, from initially taking over
the maintenance and running of our auction database software and its general
administration, to now having been Chairman since Andrew James stood down in 2017,
I’m also a member of the Antiquarian Horological Society, the Dorset Clocks
Society and the NAWCC.
The Zoom presentation deals in some detail with the repair and restoration of
three pocket watches.
1 A Quarter Repeater signed
for John Leroux,
2 A Rack Lever signed for Robert Roskell,
3 A Cylinder signed for Thomas
Mudge & William Dutton
Tall stories and shocking tales – the
stories of a few objects in a museum of electrical horology.
James Nye will give a whistle-stop tour
of the Clockworks Museum in South-East London, pausing to unravel stories that
surround some of his favourite objects in the collection.
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.
For our November lecture we are delighted to welcome Tommy
Coming from a long family tradition of clock making Tommy
has horology in his blood. With a wealth of experience working in the
Antiquarian horological field Tommy has worked on some of the finest clocks in
the country by such eminent makers as Thomas Tompion, Joseph Knibb, and Breguet
to name but three. Tommy has gained a wealth of experience working on Swiss
watches having worked previously for Longines. Tommy is a member of the British
Watch and Clockmakers Guild and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of
Tommy will be giving us a guided tour of
his workshop, tools and the sort of jobs that he is currently working on, for
example the Buchanan and the David Walters clocks.
For an insight into his business activities take a look at his website