Project number 1 – 1939 SM&Co small mantle clock.

I recently acquired this SM&Co small mantel clock.  The poor old thing is in slightly worse for wear condition. The solve ring on the dial has completely gone and at some point red paint was applied to the dial as there are remnants in the crown etching.  The movement is also grubby.  The case is however in great condition so I am going to carry out my first restoration and have the clock overhauled.  I will re silver the dial, clean and service the movement and re build.  I will pop on some pictures soon of the restored clock.  In the meantime here are some ‘before’ pictures. 



Wedding Bells for the Buttons

Well after two years of planning and excitement myself and the better half were finally joined in matrimony and the amazing Aynhoe Park.  Pictures will follow as soon as Kate Hopewell-smith our photographer gets our pics ready but as a snippet here are a few of the venue and yip you guessed it, even an RAF mantel clock made an appearance.


Elliot 1941 White Dial wall clock.

Here we have a 1941 dated Elliot White Dial wall clock.  Made to the typical 14″ size of dial face and in quality oak, the clock is in original in touched condition.  The RAF motif as with so many of these clocks has been removed.  The original tone down finish for the period has also been removed presumably over the decades however remnants of paint to the bezel can still be seen.  The movement is stamped with the usual Elliot signature and Air Ministry attributed serial number and date of 1941.  The back box is also stamped 1941 and the Elliot signature can be faintly seen above this.  The clock is missing its pendulum and there is a slight scratch to the glass.  All in all a lovely clock as is always the way with those produced by Elliot.  


Wedding bell favours.

Not to be outdone by my better half on the wedding favour stakes I have set my stall and plumbed for vintage items for my wedding favours.  I had originally thought about packaging them up in ammo boxes but then David Farnsworth of the Historic Flying Clothing Company suggested these lovely Air Ministry marked Microphone assembly boxes.  Originally containing 4 such items these lovely boxes are just the right size for my favours and are in keeping with my love of anything Air Ministry.  Constructed of thick card and stapled, the now worn boxes and rusty staples look just the part. Such items and many more amazing RAF items can be found at :


Smiths Astral Movement

On a recent trip to visit Bob Gardner I noticed sitting on a shelf this lovely Astral movement by Smiths. Produced in 1942 and stamped as such and exhibiting a lovely AM motif I couldn’t help asking if it was for sale.  To my surprise it was .  The movement is in non-running condition but as a tiny exhibition piece it truely is lovely.  

Smiths produced clocks for the RAF after winning the contract from Elliot and SM&Co and produced clocks using the Astral movement instead of the Fusee style that the other companies had adopted.  Their clocks are of far poorer quality due to the austerity of the war.  Dials are of a thinker grade metal, usually tin and their cases are normally made of ply. At some point I will find such a clock to highlight the differences.  

Thanks again to Bob for a great day.



Typical just typical.  Today I left for my next trip offshore and as  Sod’s law would have it, my newest find arrived at the house.  Luckily my better half took receipt of it from our very kind neighbours who had received it earlier in the day.  

Here we have a 1938 dated FW Elliot small mantle clock, movement serial 4004 in un-restored condition.  In excellent preservation I am told by the wife to be.  The pendulum lock is still present, the dial is in good worn condition, and overall it is a lovely example.



After seeing this clock in an auction site I took a wild stab at it and popped an absentee bid in.  Having never seen a large mantle clock close up I didn’t quite realise what a beast they are. Well I collected it today (don’t tell the misses sssssh) and boy was I shocked.  Standing some 18 inches tall it has an amazing presence.  Erroneously called the ‘sgts mess clock’  these large bracket clocks were made to a government design that had been in existence since the 19th century.  

This clock, dated 1939 and produced by SM&Co has seen better days yet is still running and in original un fettered with condition. A light rub with a duster and some polish helped bring it back to life. Inside the rear door is an original stores sticker. 


RAF Napkin Rings

Now that the better half has decided on a suitably crazy vintage themed flower infested, candelabra strewn OTT table setting for our wedding I have been allowed to add a few of my own ideas to the job at hand.  Determined to find some RAF cutlery, cups and plates and utensils I stumbled upon these RAF napkin rings on the nightmare that is e bay.  Somehow I won them so to the wedding they go. Only 8 months to go and counting.  Anyway.  These Napkin rings, produced by Walker and Hall in electroplated nickel steel have the RAF and kings crown motif etched into their body and also a number on the rear.  I can’t say what this relates to for sure.  Perhaps from a numbered set.  They came in their own little boxes stamped with corresponding stores reference code.  A lovely pair of napkin rings and lovely items overall.


Air Ministry Stickback chair.

After a few failed attempts at auction to win a chair of this type I finally managed it via the dreaded e bay and hurrah the chair arrived today.  I first saw this type of chair in a photograph of an RAF class or office scene and also in a photograph of an early RAF billet.  Thinking that the chair format was too ornate for usual Air Ministry patterns I dismissed it but it stuck in the back of my mind and to my surprise it would appear that this chair pattern was purchased and adopted by the Air Ministry pre WW2.  Of a windsor style with Stickback supports and and arm runner going the full diameter of the chair, with turned legs and a H type stretcher the chair is really lovely and very comfortable to sit in. A real gem.  I only wish I had won the other two I bid on.

This chair dates to 1938.  Made by Haines of High Wycombe the chair epicentre of Great Britain back then.  The AM and crown stamp has as usual been burned into the underside of the base.  Although not amazingly clear in the picture, the AM can be seen as can the crown impression.  The makers signature and date are also on the underside.

FW Elliot bracket clock

Here we have a lovely bracket clock dated to 1938 and produced by FW Elliot. Just like my other bracket clock made by Stockall Marple and Co, this has been produced to the same Air Ministry Pattern and would have lived out its working life in an officers mess on an RAF station. Full of character and in excellent condition, these clocks were thrown out in their hundreds after the war and following changing pattern requirements by the Air Ministry in RAF. How things have changed with these clocks quite well sought after.