12th May 2022
J E Allnutt & Son Ltd., Midhurst. Expanding the business and training apprentices
Geoff Allnutt MBHI. And two of his apprentices
The last 10 or more years we have enjoyed the company of many young horologists training at West Dean College. Unfortunately, this May, Malcolm Archer has suffered the Covid 19 virus and as a result has had to cancel our talk from the students. You are however welcome to see their presentations at the college on Saturday, 14 May.
I’m extremely grateful to Geoff Allnutt, for stepping in at the last minute, accompanied by two of his apprentices Jacob Russell, FBHI. And Patrick Woodward, MBHI.
Geoff, a watchmaker, started his career working alongside his father, John, when he was 14. At 16 he left Midhurst and studied horology in London for three years at Hackney Technical College passing the final grade of the British Horological Institute exams with merit in 1985. He then embarked on the famous WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program) course in Neuchatel Switzerland studying under master watchmaker Antoine Simonin. Upon his return to the UK, he rejoined the family business and for the past thirty years he has successfully developed the vintage wristwatch restoration and sales side of the company. He is also one of two Programme Advisors for the Postgraduate Diploma Conservation of Clocks and Related Objects at West Dean College in West Sussex. He has already trained two apprentices to FBHI status and has also mentored a number of clock and watchmakers.
Jacob Russell. Watchmaker was the recipient of the Beresford Hutchinson prize in 2016. Geoff is delighted that Jacob Russell, his apprentice for the last 5 years has passed his British Horological Exams with Merit together with the highest mark for his portfolio; thus, becoming the youngest Fellow of the British Horological Institute in Britain.
Patrick Woodward. Watchmaker initially approached Geoff in November 2017, after reading an article about Jacob’s success in the local press. Geoff saw great potential in Patrick, and he offered him a full-time apprenticeship in watchmaking in April 2018.
Patrick has recently completed his apprenticeship of 4 years and qualified to become a Member of the British Horological Institute. He has been doing some most intricate work making a jewelled locking roller for a duplex and is also studying for FBHI Status.
The meeting was held at The White Hart Barn in Godstone and made accessible via Zoom to those unable to attend.