blog by Jenie Yolland

My husband has an old french mantle clock, it had been broken for a year and I decided to get it repaired.  I needed to find someone with the skills to repair something from the 1910’s – they’d probably need to have old-fashioned skills and old-fashioned tools.



First I took it to our local jeweller, the one who made our wedding rings and our daughter’s 18th birthday pearl necklace – you know – he knows us.

This jeweller sent us off to a retired gentleman who lives in the MOST splendid house that is designed exactly like the one in the Sound Of Music.

Inside I was greeted to a huge entrance hall and yes, a wondrous stair case designed exactly like this – without the large family though.  (picture credit to Mark-Yeoman).



As the elderly gentleman answered the door down the staircase came this splendid lady, immaculately dressed and fabulously talkative.  She literally swept down this staircase chatting the whole time like we were old friends!  I was astonished!  She was so gorgeous, vivacious and welcoming!  She still runs a whole (what is the collective noun for a group of ballet schools?) lot of ballet schools.

Anyway her husband is a retired clock maker.  They have an entire “understory” to their humongous house.  Its a bit like an iceberg, there’s more underground than above ground, built like many Viennese homes apparently.  These two were so delightful and interesting and enthusiastic, I need to find another reason to visit them again. (I’m not sharing their names or the external images of their home for their privacy).  I must say that I loved every minute I spent with them.

I couldn’t help but take photographs of some of his exacting tools.  These skills are lost today.  Let’s hope the likes of the Lost Trades Fair will bring some of these skills back into play with the younger generation.  I love to share gifts of other people here on my blog.



Here is a tiny portion of his work bench.  And this is hanging just above the workbench.



As you can see he has some almost microscopic screws that he uses to repair the tiny clock mechanisms.


I have had a fabulous and unforgettable experience, getting my husband’s clock fixed.  It was ready in time to give to him on his birthday.   Happy repairs!  I hope everyone’s repair jobs are as happy as this one.

When I say French mantle clock – this is what I’m talking about.



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