The idea for The Clockworks grew from a widely experienced phenomenon – a collection that was outstripping the space available for its display.
A larger permanent home was needed. But there was much more.
A collection of objects that were designed to work, lives and breathes when the objects remain in working condition. In an ideal world this means a close connection between where the objects are displayed and where they can be repaired and maintained.
There is a lack of experienced professional repairers and conservators working on electric clocks in the UK, and a key goal for The Clockworks was to develop a museum-class in-house conservation capacity through the creation of a specialized workshop, able to undertake any work associated with timekeeping artefacts, either electric or not, old or new.
The formation of an educational trust, based at The Clockworks, allows the advancement of knowledge in electrical timekeeping, through seminars, workshops, lectures – even the provision of a teaching collection of objects that can be used or borrowed.
Since knowledge and enjoyment of a field increases when specialists can meet to discuss and examine objects of interest, there was also a desire to create a comfortable environment that could house seminars, workshops, displays, lectures and social gatherings.
A library of journals, catalogues, books and ephemera completes the story, creating a unified space in which objects and ideas in the story of electric time can be studied and enjoyed in many ways.