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Sam Clutton demonstrates the skill of a master surveyor

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My first house in South London
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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And then I met Clutton and got involved in the antiquarian side and he realised that I needed a proper workshop. I was working in the drawing room of the flat that I was renting and he said he had some spare money floating about, which he could lend me. So I sold my sports Bentley for £1,000 and borrowed £1,000 and I had a few hundred in the bank and I bought this house. You never saw my house in South London. It was a beautiful double fronted Victorian villa with three quarters of an acre of garden in a beautiful wide road lined with blossoming trees and not a vehicle to be seen anywhere. Nobody parked cars in the street and it really was a wonderful house. It had been grossly neglected by the people who were in it. They'd been renting it and let it go down and there was something like 150 empty gin bottles in the shed at the side, so he was obviously a great party-giver, and in the middle of the garden was a great heap of discarded motor tyres and brambles occupied every square inch that wasn't occupied by rubbish and jumble. However, I do remember with great pleasure sitting on my back step in the sunshine eating my first breakfast cooked in my own house. So that was very satisfying.

George Daniels, CBE, DSc, FBHI, FSA (19 August 1926 - 21 October 2011) was an English watchmaker most famous for creating the co-axial escapement. Daniels was one of the few modern watchmakers who could create a complete watch by hand, including the case and dial. He was a former Master of the Clockmakers' Company of London and had been awarded their Gold Medal, a rare honour, as well as the Gold Medal of the British Horological Institute, the Gold Medal of the City of London and the Kullberg Medal of the Stockholm Watchmakers’ Guild.

Listeners: Roger Smith

Roger Smith was born in 1970 in Bolton, Lancashire. He began training as a watchmaker at the age of 16 at the Manchester School of Horology and in 1989 won the British Horological Institute Bronze Medal. His first hand made watch, made between 1991 and 1998, was inspired by George Daniels' book "Watchmaking" and was created while Smith was working as a self-employed watch repairer and maker. His second was made after he had shown Dr Daniels the first, and in 1998 Daniels invited him to work with him on the creation of the 'Millennium Watches', a series of hand made wrist watches using the Daniels co-axial escapement produced by Omega. Roger Smith now lives and works on the Isle of Man, and is considered the finest watchmaker of his generation.

Tags: Cecil Clutton

Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008