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First Bentleys and amateur racing


Buyng and rebuilding cars
George Daniels Master watchmaker
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My first car was an MG. Often it was one's first car... an MG. Mine was a 1930 model and I bought it in 1950. And so it was quite old when I bought it - second hand, of course. And I didn't have any money, I just wanted the car. So it was when I started my hire purchase career and after that bought many cars on the hire purchase. One could buy a car for a down payment of about £20 and £2 a week after that. Cars were difficult to find immediately after the war, there was no production of cars, and so pre-war cars became very valuable. I couldn't afford very much on those lines, I had to be content with my MG. But I felt the MG wasn't really pretentious enough. I was beginning to become rather self-important thinking I might make some progress in life and I ought to have a vehicle that more suited my aspiring stature. So I bought a Rover – very comfortable. The Rover was always known as the poor man's Bentley and they were very comfortable cars and well built and I quite enjoyed mine. I soon realised it was just a vehicle for rebuilding. You know, I was buying these cars and I liked to rebuild them and so my mechanical instincts were beginning to exert themselves.

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: Rover, Bentley, MG

Duration: 1 minute, 32 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008