Feb 10 2017


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.


Jan 29 2017

The Cottage by John & Alec

it sounds strange, does it not,
that a cottage could be lonely?
harken, while i set the plot
to this sad tale but true.
the grip of winter, tight as death
closed around its walls
and froze them with its icy breath.
a chilling tale, but true.
its wooden ribs of sturdy oak
stood well against the strain.
tho’ they shivered, not one broke.
a stirring tale, but true.
once, when the storm was at its height
a stranger came inside.
he blessed the place and slept the night.
a moving tale, but true.
next day the stranger left at dawn
and took his company.
he left the cottage more forlorn.
a hopeless tale, but true.
when next we see this lonely spot
it’s in the grip of spring.
brighter shades to paint the plot
colourful tale, but true.
a diamond on a green baize table
it used to be the pond.
of what is spring not capable?
a sparkling tale but true.
but tho’ spring brings new hope for most
the cottage knew the worst.
it gained from spring less than it lost.
a sorry tale, but true.
with wet walls gone green with moss,
toadstools in the kitchen.
the ruined cottage grieved its loss.
a fungal tale, but true.
the pond was choked with glass green weed
(the diamond lost its sparkle)
bushes, brambles, noxious breed.
a jungle tale, but true.
decayed, decrepit, disrepair,
distraught, disused, discouraged,
dismal,disparaged, deep despair.
disastrous tale, but true.
the cottage viewed with rheumy eyes
its man forsaken limbo.
in this tale the cottage cries.
a tearful tale, but true.
and then! a voice! a laugh! a cry!
those long forgotten sounds.
the cottage sighed a gentle sigh.
well, stranger tales are true!
for there, standing at the door
was the stranger, wife and children
they went inside to explore.
a happy tale, but true.
the stranger showed them all around.
They loved the place at once.
he showed them where he slept, so sound.
the stranger’s tale was true.
the cottage rooms were filled with laughter,
and no one seemed to notice
joyful tears fall from the rafter.
a magic tale for you….


Jan 13 2017

Frank Hope-Jones The Cheshire Man Who Gave Us The Pips (Part Three)

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


Dec 12 2016


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


Dec 04 2016


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.


Nov 29 2016


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.

Repeat verse.


Nov 20 2016


In 1742 a Benjamin Brandreth of Middlewich , a grandfather clocks maker, died inestate, and administration of his goods, etc., was granted in Chester in that year. At the same time, letters of tuition or guardianship, were issued for the upbringing of three minors, Hugh, Benjamin and Obadiah Brandreth, doubtless children of the elder Benjamin. The third child mentiond was probably very young at that time. His name as a grandfather clocks maker of Middlewich , appears in the Chester Directory of 1782, and a will in which he describes himself as  ” of Middlewich, clock maker ” was proved at Chester on the 25th April 1804. An examination of the will, etc. , and the parish register and churchyard gravestones, would doubtless yield further information. There are entries relating to a Benjamin and a Hugh Brandreth, in the printed parish registers of Frodsham and this as well as the reference in the present Query, may infer a connection with that place.


Nov 11 2016

The Old Gas Lamp

When I was a kid I wasn’t very tall
In fact I was small not very tall at all
But in my heart I knew I was a champ
‘Cos outside our house stood  the old Gas Lamp

Got picked on by the bigger kids and often got a clout
Did as I was told me, never had much of a shout
But I knew my spirit they’d never damp
When I had the main prize, The old Gas Lamp.

I’d throw tyres over the top and swing on it with a rope
Use it as a maypole and wash it down with soap
And when night time fell all the kids would camp
under the glow of the the old Gas Lamp

And when we warred with other mobs and horrible names did call
To be rewarded by a clout on the head from big kids ten feet tall
When the battle was over, off we’d tramp and negotiate peace under the old GasLamp

It was not a thing to glory at standing in the street
with graffiti all around it and the smell of a big dog’s feet
but I’ll still remember when I’m old with cramp the pleasure I got from
the old  Gas Lamp


Nov 07 2016


In the Cluny Museum in Paris, where the unique mediaeval collections are housed so aptly in the hotel of the Abbots of Cluny, there is an old English astronomical  bracket clock in an ebony case by Joseph Taylor of ” Nampwitch dans le Cheshire Temps de Louis XIII “. but the following additions will interest present readers who may be glad to know that it has been restored to its old home in Paris.

A letter from the Curator ( translation ) reads ” This clock displays a main dial showing the hours supporting a hollow engraved globe with a mobile dial having the pointer for the hours designed with great skill and displaying the signs of the  zodiac. Above is a dial of the days of the month and in the angles are those of the epact, the golden number, the Dominical letter and the solar cycle. The base below is of engraved copper. Height 28 1/2 ins. Number in catalogue 6801 “


Oct 09 2016

Alec’ Joyous Accouchement

stifled moans in drug-like sleep,
pangs of pain are growing stronger
the womb can’t, in safety, keep
its burden any longer.
in haste, from deep protection,
thrust out into this harsh cold world,
a life. such sweet perfection
in fingers tightly curled;
in tiny eyes and face screwed up.
her soft and plaintive cry is hushed
as,washed, dried, and then, clewed up
in warm soft cloth, pink-flushed,
my babygirl, at mother’s breast
secured and loved, contented, blest.