Why Clocks - Fixing up old Clocks

Ticking Clocks
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Why Clocks ?
Growing up in the 1960s there were always clocks in the house. The grandfather clock at the top of the stairs that came into the family as settlement for a drinking debt, the cuckoo clock in the dining room and the Art Deco mantel clock in grandma’s room.

Clocks were more than just ornaments of course, they were the only method of telling us the time and they weren’t cheap. In 1973 my first watch, a Smiths calendar on an expanding bracelet and purchased at the end of my first week in employment, cost me £20 which was my entire weeks wage. All of our clocks at home were corrected by listening to the 6 o’clock news where Big Ben would chime live on the radio. Winding them took on a ritual of its own, the cuckoo clock was wound each night by dad as he went up to bed, and the grandfather clock each weekend.

Our collection expanded as we had children. At the birth of each we would acquire a new clock. Most were secondhand; our Westminster chime Napoleon Hat was a swap for an old silver trumpet. They all ran, chimed or struck the hours but as the years passed one by one they fell silent from lack of attention, and then they became just ornaments.

In my retirement my wife spotted a day class offering to teach clock repair and maintenance. This seemed like a good opportunity to tackle my collection of silent clocks and so I signed up. What follows is the story of how I fixed up my small collection of clocks, and then when the clock bug bit; the purchase, repair and refurbishment of a growing number of others.

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