Yesterday I arrived home from work offshore knowing I had been a bad boy with regards to my spending. Today the fruits of my off shift antics became a reality when 3 large parcels arrived at my house. Inside each box was a solitary Small mantle clock. And here they are. This time I managed to get myself on a stunning 1927 EC&W powered clock, a 1939 Elliott and gorgeous 1936 SM&Co clock interestingly also stamped with a Royal Observer corps reference number stamped on the underside. See snaps below.
Here we have an SM&Co made small mantle clock. Dated 1939 on the movement the clock retains its pendulum lock. The clock case has been painted white by the RAF for use in a hospital or medical centre on an RAF station. The clock is in stunning condition and makes a lovely alternative to the usual wooden finish of other RAF pattern clocks.
Whilst perusing google images for all things Air Ministry whilst the good lady was at work, I came across a tiny image of a small mantel clock that I had not seen before. Clicking on it up popped a link with a clock for sale from http://www.seaside-gallery.co.uk. I took a punt and e mailed to see if the clock was still for sale and to my shock, it was. Up until now every clock I have found on the inter web has been sold. After a quick conversation with the owner, John Churchill I reserved the clock and after planning a christmas shopping trip to the UK, myself and the good lady swung by Bexhill to collect the clock. Safe to say I am rather chuffed with the purchase. My interest in getting a clock started when I saw a couple (sadly not for sale) whilst collecting my washbasin (see earlier post) from David Farnsworth at the historic flying clothing company. After getting home I did some research and came across a book by Bob Gardner called ‘a history of clocks in the RAF’. After some swatting up and realisation that the market place is full of knock offs I started to tread carefully. After sending some snaps to Bob Gardner he didnt raise any concerns and added the serial number of the clock to his database, so I took a plunge and purchased it.
This clock was produced by Stockall Marples and Co in 1939. SM&Co produced a batch of small mantel clocks in 1938 that ran until 1939. That run ended with clock number 11379. There was another couple of smaller runs then a large final batch from clock numbers 12734 to 12781. As Bob Gardner notes in his book, no more mantel clocks were produced SM&Co for the RAF after this date. My clock has the serial number 12755. The clock retains its pendulum lock as can be seen in the pictures. Elliot, another company that produced small mantel clocks for the RAF, ceased fitting these after 1935. The serial number, date and AM crown are all nicely engraved into the movement case. There is also an ‘M’ and crown stamped on the lip of the door aperture at the back. Presumably it was made by an AM stamp, but the whole logo couldn’t be fitted on the thin lip. (See pictures). Also on the base is stamped SM&Co and 1939 and AM. The dial is still in good condition and the correct hands are present. All in all a lovely clock that I feel privileged to own and cherish.