The John Shone collection
A tradition of excellence
Specialist in buying, selling and renovation of fine antique grandfather clocks for over 30 years
Specialist in buying, selling and renovation of fine antique grandfather clocks for over 30 years
Arthur Drummond Callcott will be remembered by older Malpas residents and in the ” Whitchurch Herald ” for 3rd of January 1931, he appears in a feature on the oldest people in the area. Of him, the article says the he was ” The oldest founder member of the Jubilee Hall and having a great record of public service. Not many years ago he made a particularly fine Grandfather Clock (case and all), which graces the hall of one of the Malpas doctors ”
The Callcott shop eventually moved from Old Hall Street to High Street where it has been re-fronted and now serves as an office for the Nationwide Building Society. Arthur Drummond Callcot appears to have remained a bachelor and from him, the business passed to the family of his sister, who married a Dutton. The late Cecil Dutton, last of the line to work in Malpas, died in the 1950s.
However, some members of the family were moving around. Thomas Wallcott first appears in Well Street, Malpas in a directory of 1822/3. Afterwards he appears in directories from 1828 and 1834 as a watch and grandfatherclock maker in Old Hall Street, Malpas. However, clockmakers have a habit of scratching clean marks on clocks that they attend to and this leads on to a Samuel Callcott who on the 16th of May 1866 cleaned a Joyce clock which I have examined. Then again, I found another scratch mark by Samuel in 1874 in a Whitchurch grandfather clock by George Bradshaw.
Arthur Drummond Callcott first appears in the 1871 census return for Malpas. The term ” apparently ” is used at it has been generally assumed that he was the son of the Arthur Callcott who appears in the 1851 census as a son of Thomas ( see family tree). However further examination of the Census returns suggests that Arthur Drummond Callcott was the son of Thomas’ daughter Sarah and was born in Liverpool as Arthur Wignall and was therefore the first Arthur’s nephew. It seems that he probably changed his name to Callcott when he took over the business from his uncle. Therefore, the Arthur born in about 1812 (son of Thomas) was probably the last actual Callcott to own the business
John two married an Ann Batho in Wem in 1801 and it was this family which in 1809 held the Raven Public House in Watergate Street, Whitchurch. He also made fine Grandfather Clocks and some time ago, I was lucky enough to find and photograph one. This is also an oak cased white dial grandfather clock but without moonwork. It has a false plate indicating the dial was made by Finnemore and Son which would give a date between 1828 and 1835,and the whole of the clock is indicative of this date. This case again shows refined cabinet work and restrained use of stringing and inlay.
Another member of the family, John three could possibly be the son of John two. He is recorded as being a grandfather clock maker living in Prees and he made a sundial for St. Chad’s. He had married Ann Hadley in 1825 and had three daughters. From 1832 to 1850 the directories recorded a Callcott shop in Wem, High Street . John Callcott two at the age of 75, would have died in 1852, so this could have been his shop, or possibly shared with John three. However the Whitchurch directory gives a John Callcott of having a business in the High Street from 1840 until 1851, so the two shops were running together for a period but more research is needed to clarify the situation
The old established Callcott family of grandfather clock makers, who traded in Wem, Whitcurch and Malpas, had roots in the business stretching back nearly as far as those of the Joyce family, whose business still continues in Whitchurch.
To trace the family back takes us to 1719 in Wem. At this time the son of John and Lydia Callcott, was baptised Richard at Edstaston. Later Richard married a local girl from Wem and had a family of a boy and a girl. Richard attended to the church clock at St.Chads, Prees, for seventeen years from 1746.
Here, however, it starts to get more involved as this was just one side of a local family and Richard had a nephew, John Callcott, who was also working in the family business. At one time, I had a white faced grandfather clock with moon phases by this man.
John Callcott was the son of Arthur and Jane and was born in 1753. He married a Sarah Bradley and a year later his son was born. This child was baptised John on the 21st. of September 1777 and later was to take over his father’s business. Old John Callcott died in his 78th.year after a long illness. The ” Salopian Journal ” of the time records in 1830, that he was a ” Mechanic of more than ordinary class “. Certainly his grandfather clocks are valued today, the workmanship of movement and case being of high order.
At first the government were against this idea but then for a payment of one guinea a year as a licence fee, they allowed it. This was the first wireless licence. He became very involved with the development of wireless, helping to form the Wireless Society, of which he was elected Chairman.
On April 21st 1923, while broadcasting from Savoy Hill, he encouraged his listeners to put their clocks to the right time. He invited them to set their watches and then set their clocks from their watches. He gave the time by counting the last five seconds from 9.55 to 10 o’clock on his watch, which he had previously set close to Greenwich mean time, so the pips were introduced as a way the announcers could give the listeners an accurate time check This was done by a land link from Greenwich and the broadcasting station and the six pips as we know them, was made available to the country. The method of time signalling by the six pips is now almost universal and every time signals noted by horologists , should remind them of the of the man whose business life was entirely spent in encouraging people to appreciate correct time keeping.
The business grew and moved again to 32-34 Clerkenwell Road which served the business until 1940. Mr.Boswell left the Syndicate in 1899 and in 1901 it went into voluntary liquidation. Frank Hope-Jones took over its assets and was determined to carry on alone. His first job when he found himself in sole control of the Synchronome business in 1901 was improve his business and to improve his clock system. He did this by his lectures, his press activities and more particularly his energetic interest in the main subject of accurate time-keeping and the establishment of public clock systems.
Frank Hope-Jones in the company of William Willet and T.D. Wright were instrumental in persuading the government to introduce day light saving. Willet’s original proposal was to advance time in 20 minute stages but T.D Wright wanted a full hour advance. The first daylight saving was instituted by the Germans during the war, this country followed on May 20th 2016.
In 1913 he invented the Homophone so that Watch and Clockmakers could listen on a simpal crystal receiver to time signals that were sent out from the Eiffel Tower
Frank, who was apprenticed with the Thames and Mersey Marine Insurance Company left his post and became employed by his brother Robert in the Hope-Jones Organ Company. It can be understood that because of Frank’s close association with his brother in his hobbies, his works, inventions and experiments would have given him considerable insight into electro-magnetic theory and actions and there also happened to be an apprentice in the organ workshop named named George B. Bowell who had ideas of applying electro-magnetism to what was originally named a self – winding clock
The organ company went into liquidation and Frank Hope-Jones and Bowell were getting together to design and make an electric clock. They had by 1894 already made their first models and taken out their first patents the following year. They then moved to London and found a workshop in the old building of Turnival’s Inn. In 1897 they moved again because of limited space, this times to rooms in Victoria Street Here was founded the Synchronome Syndicate Ltd. The word Synchronome was devised by another elder brother, Kenyon Hope-Jones, who was a classical scholar and later a priest
Frank Hope-Jones first came into Horology in 1895 when his revolutionary theories and emphatic pronouncements caused considerable stir in the then somewhat stagnant British horological industry. A brief history of his early years explains how he became interested and involved in the horological world
He was the youngest of a family of nine children. When his father died, Frank was only five years of age and because of changed circumstances he and his family moved from Hooton Grange, Wirral, Cheshire to the rather smaller quarters of a house in Birkenhead , also in Cheshire.
He had a brother, Robert, who was eight years older and who was interested in the beginnings of the telephone and became engaged in the manufacture of electrical instruments. His hobby, however, was church music and having been an accomplished organist since the age of five and later choirmaster and organist at the family church, applied his training as electrician to the problems of restoring the local organ. This he did to such good effect that he opened an organ factory in premises next to the old Argyle Music Hall.
Little song I wrote about my daughter many years ago
” Came home late one evening, children both in bed,
would I go and see them there were stories to be read.
I walked back down the hallway, and halfway up the stairs,
it was then I heard the gentle voice of my little girl in prayer.
“Thank you for my mummy, and thank you for my dad.
Thank you for my little dog, he makes me feel so glad.
Thank you for the sunshine, and thank you for the rain.
Thank you for my brother, though sometimes he’s a pain.
Thank you for my grandma, and for my granddad too.
Thank you for the fields of green, and for the sky so blue.
thank you, Lord for making us a happy family,
and now there is just one more thing.
thank you lord for ME!!”
As I stood there listening a tear came to my eye,
for simple things like that, can make a grown man cry.
If I live to be a hundred, nothing ever will compare,
to that day when I first heard my little girl in prayer.