2020 March Meeting

5th March 2020

Annual General Meeting followed by:

A Practical Demonstration of Dial Matting by Keith Davis

As usual this meeting will be a two-stage event. Firstly, there will be the AGM which will be followed by Keith Davis who will be giving us a practical demonstration of Dial Matting.

As mentioned in the newsletter sent to members last month (not on the website) our AGM will be a little different this year as we are to elect a new President.

Therefore, in addition to the normal committee member elections (with the exception of the Chairman who was elected for a two-year term last year) the position of President will also be voted on.

As we are a branch under the umbrella of BHI at Upton Hall please remember to vote at the AGM you must be a member of both our Branch and the BHI at Upton Hall.

In addition to the elections there will be the normal reports from the Chairman, Treasurer, Workshop Committee Chairman, Webmaster, and of course the opportunity for all members of the branch to raise any questions.

Keith Davies is a highly respected horologist working in the Maidstone area.

Originally apprenticed as a jewellery/silversmith he became interested in horology and later apprenticed to the late Peter Bonnett. In the 1970s, there formed a bond between these two clockmakers even though Peter’s business was compulsory purchased by road building scheme in Maidstone. Keith started working for himself many years ago extending his garage and converting this into his workshop. Keith has worked for many of the members of the trade and private customers alike.

In 1987 he partook in the clockmakers company exhibition exhibiting a fine Shelton table regulator which he had made in conjunction with his friend Mr Moon, the collaboration produced more than one unusual timepiece including a replica wall regulator by Francis Crowe of Faversham.

Keith has always been very interested in animals and if you visited it was no surprise to find the latest acquisition of a barn owl in the garden aviary.

His work is always of the highest quality and his abilities include making watch cases, detent’s, wheels pinions and finally pierced hands to name a few.

2020 February Meeting

6 February 2020

Three Restorations: Tales of 18th Century Survivals

Graham, Morse

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 in order to devote more time to his Clockmaker’s Company roles. (Andrew’s recent death at a tragically young age has left us all deeply saddened).

I’m also a member of the Antiquarian Horological Society, the Dorset Clocks Society and the NAWCC.

The presentation deals in some detail with the repair and restoration of three pocket watches made in the 18th century, which came to me in need of various interventions.

  • A 1762 English verge signed for James Ivory with several structural problems, which ended up being a full restoration including re-plating the cases and making a pair of the correct hands for the dial.
  • A 1788 English cylinder with a centre seconds hand, signed for John Starey, but made to the design and standards of George Graham, which was bought at an auto-jumble by its present owner, with the vendor suggesting that it would be suitable for mounting with a clip on the handlebars of a motorbike! This needed new hands as well as some other work.
  • A c.1750 English verge quarter repeater signed for Robert Higgs, which had been somewhat bodged in earlier repairs, in spectacular gold pair cases.

2020 January Meeting

2nd January 2020

A Comparison of Early Tompions.

Duncan Greig

Our first speaker this 2020 is Duncan Greig who regularly visits Lyme Park and other impressive collections working on site.

The focus of his talk will be the new marquetry longcase clock by Thomas Tompion which has recently found a home at Lyme. A bequest from a Norfolk collector, it now stands in the former State Dressing Room at Lyme, which houses forty-nine horological items. The month duration clock is unnumbered, therefore thought to predate 1682. The magnificent marquetry case, in all probability the work of Jasper Bream, with rising hood has retained much of its colour and cresting. Duncan will briefly describe other clocks at Lyme by the same maker. He wants to draw our attention to comparisons of the ‘new’ clock with one of similar appearance at Powys Castle, pointing out differences on the execution of work to the Barrels, Motion work, Pallets and maintaining power.

With further interesting illustrations of the work by this maker Duncan hopes to draw to our attention to the fact that we all make mistakes…….

2019 December Meeting

5th December 2019

A Snapshot of Frodshams in the 21st century – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

The Frodsham Team

For this year’s South London Branch “George Daniels Memorial Lecture” we are delighted to welcome “The Frodsham Team.”

Charles Frodsham & Co. are the longest continuously trading firm of chronometer manufacturers in the world and are synonymous with precision timekeeping instruments of the highest quality; watches, clocks, regulators and wristwatches.

This prestigious lecture will chart the historical path of Charles Frodsham and Co. proposing a link between notable restoration projects of recent times to the research, development and manufacture of a modern wristwatch with a focus on materials and chronometric performance. The processes required to produce the movement, case and dial components will be carefully considered and elaborated upon. 

2019 October Meeting

3rd October 2019

Black Marble Clocks for the Connoisseur

Bill Wolmuth

For our October meeting we are delighted to welcome back Bill Wolmuth who will show that not all black marble clocks are created equal.

Within the horological world there is a common misconception that the movements to black marble clocks are all very similar and machine made.  However, as with any type of clock, there are examples of considerable interest for the horologist who is prepared to look and there is no doubt that many of the movements, particularly early or rare ones, included a high degree of manual work to a very high standard.

Bill Wolmuth is a consulting engineer and an amateur horologist who has been interested in black marble clocks for more than 30 years. He is based in London and is Secretary to St Albans Clock Club. In collaboration with John Glanville, he co-authored the book ‘Clockmaking in England and Wales in the Twentieth Century’ on which he gave us a talk in August 2017.

In this talk, Bill will discuss unusual black marble clock movements made between the late 1840s and 1880s, illustrated with photographs, and explain how to narrow down the date of manufacture of most of such movements. The movements include ones that are quarter striking (with a countwheel or rack strike); have centre or subsidiary seconds hands; have twin wheel escapements (and are countwheel or rack strike); are year going; have calendar work (simple or perpetual); and movements with keyless winding (there are a few types).  The talk will conclude with a brief explanation of Bill’s methods for restoring black marble clock cases which have case parts missing or damaged. Branch members are welcome to bring any black marble clocks they consider will be of interest to the audience or on which they would like some advice.

2019 September Meeting

5th September 2019

The Beresford Hutchinson Memorial Lecture

The Hampton Court Turret Clocks

Keith Scobie-Youngs FBHI ACR

For this year’s Beresford Hutchinson Lecture, we are delighted to welcome Keith Scobie-Youngs joint founder of the Cumbria Clock Company.

The Cumbria Clock Company Ltd. Was established in 1990 and is situated in the small village, of Dacre in the Lake District National Park not far from the picturesque Lake Ullswater. From this base, and using engineer’s living in England, the whole country is covered. They are responsible for the annual maintenance of hundreds of clocks all over the UK. From the smallest church or village clock to the magnificent clocks at Salisbury cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, more recently the Royal Liver Building dials and waiting train movements, Liverpool.

Keith will be giving us an insight into the extensive conservation work carried out to the Hampton Court Palace clock, its history, the astronomical dial and how it ended up being driven by a Gillet and Bland double three legged remontoire movement. His knowledge and expertise on the countries tower clocks are second to none, an evening not to be missed.

2019 August Meeting

1st August 2019


Tabea Rude

For our August lecture we look forward to welcoming Tabea Rude.

Tabea trained at West Dean College gaining a Master’s degree in Horology. Before moving to Vienna Tabea spent eighteen months working at The Clockworks.

The Vienna City clock collection is part of the Vienna City museum group, which comprises of 22 museums and historic houses, as well as the city archaeology department. Although the collection is only a very small part of the entire museum group, with over 5000 objects it is the largest horological collection in Austria. The 700 key pieces of this collection are housed in a historic building in central Vienna, which has functioned as a publicly accessible clock museum since 1921.

Tabea was appointed as the horological conservator for the entire horological collection in 2017. This involves documenting and organising the reserve collection in a new purpose-built art storage building, as well as getting to know Viennese horology and the key objects in the collection.

Tabea will talk about the early beginnings of the museum and its key collections acquired in the 1910-20s. Through the following “tour on slides”, everyone is invited to get to know the key objects’ histories as well as the quirky and -­at least locally- famous personalities associated with them. From Austro-Hungarian monarchs, poets and monks to bankrupt actresses and failed inventors- the collection contains many interesting stories, clocks, watches and automata.

2019 July Meeting

4th July 2019


James Harris BA (Hons) MBHI

For our July lecture we look forward to welcoming James Harris, currently Conservator in residence at the Clockworks. James also runs his own clock and watch repair business.

After graduating with a First Class degree from the then-new BA (hons) Horology course at Birmingham School of Jewellery, James has spent time working for brands such as Tag Heuer, Omega, and Christopher Ward. He has also returned to Birmingham as a lecturer.

James chose to launch Harris Horology in order to work with his main horological interest, vintage and antique watches and pocket watches.

For his talk to us James will be describing what it’s like to train to become a horologist in the 21st century, studying horology as a degree. He will also be discussing what lead to becoming an independent watchmaker under Harris Horology and the various avenues that keep him busy away from the bench.


2019 June Meeting

6th June 2019


Francoise Collanges

For our June lecture we look forward to welcoming Francoise Collanges.

Based in Brussels but also working in the UK and in France, Françoise is a trained horologist, specialising in the conservation and care of historical objects.

In the last few years, Francoise has collected as much information and pictures that she could on Robert-Houdin’s mystery clocks. Her lecture will give some historical backgrounds to Robert-Houdin’s clocks and examine what are their distinctive features, and the issues she has met with them. Her aim is to better understand how they were made, by whom, and how well they are meant to perform. Francoise looks forward to discussing with our members the experiences they have had with such clocks.

Trained in some of the best schools in conservation in Europe (Paris-Sorbonne in France, West Dean College in the UK), she embraces the ethics defined by the leading national and international institutions in the field of conservation (see ECCO guidelines) and provides the highest standards of work. She is a member of the Institute of Conservator-restorers in Ireland (ICRI) and of Icon (UK).

A member of the AHS council Françoise trained for two years at West Dean College (UK) in the conservation of clocks and obtained a MA in Conservation Studies, before settling as a free-lance conservator.

This is one lecture not to be missed!

2019 May Meeting

2nd May 2019


Malcolm Archer FBHI

For our May meeting we welcome Malcolm Archer and his students from West Dean College.  The speakers will be a number of his Conservation of Clocks students.

This annual event gives the students a chance to try their hand at public speaking and us the opportunity to hear what is going on in horological education. Students will present on a project that makes up a major part of their coursework for qualification in restoration and conservation of antique clocks. The evening promises good variety and an opportunity for lively discussion.

It is always interesting to hear about the projects that the students have been working on and we will have a variety of topics presented.  It is also a good opportunity to hear first-hand about what the tutors and students are doing and show our support

Please note the meeting is not at our normal venue but at

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