2023 Annual Meeting

Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower

To be held in the Leopold Muller Lecture Theatre at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF, and online via Zoom, on Saturday 13 May 2023.

The Elizabeth Tower Conservation Project of 2017–2022 is one of the most significant horological events of its generation. In the 2023 AHS Annual Meeting, we step behind the scenes to hear about this momentous project from a wide range of specialist insiders.

In the first session, Mark Collins, UK Parliament’s Estates Historian, will set the historical scene, describing how Big Ben was built, and became a national symbol. Next, Charlotte Claughton, the Senior Project Leader at UK Parliament, will explore the conservation project itself – one of the most complex imaginable.

The second session will take the form of live questions and answers with the Palace of Westminster Clock Team. Alex Jeffrey, Huw Smith and Ian Westworth will discuss the operation and maintenance of the great clock now that the conservation project is complete. What does the future hold for Big Ben?

After lunch, we will hold the AHS Annual General Meeting. Then, AHS President Patricia Fara will host our annual awards presentation.

We will then hear three shorter presentations, each from an external specialist offering a unique insight into Big Ben. Mark Crangle, from the Cumbria Clock Company, will describe the work carried out on the mechanism. John Reyntiens, from Reyntiens Glass Studio, will explain the restoration of Big Ben’s iconic glass dials. Chris McKay, Big Ben historian, will show how the Elizabeth Tower has been depicted through history.

The concluding presentation will be given by Keith Scobie-Youngs, co-founder of the Cumbria Clock Company. In it, Keith will offer his personal recollections of a five-year horological project that has captured the world’s attention like no other.

This unique event offers a chance for attendees around the world to hear, first-hand, the story of the Elizabeth Tower Conservation Project, and to discuss it directly with those who made it happen. We look forward to seeing you in May!

Saturday 13 May 2023


10.00 Museum doors open for in-person attendees. Registration with tea, coffee and biscuits.

10.30 Chair’s introduction

10.35 Mark Collins, Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower: The Creation of a National Symbol

11.05 Charlotte Claughton, The Elizabeth Tower Conservation Project

11.35 Short break

11.45 Alex Jeffrey, Huw Smith and Ian Westworth, Q&A Session: Operating and Maintaining the Great Westminster Clock

12.15 Lunch


13.15 Annual General Meeting, followed by presentation of awards by Patricia Fara


14.15 Mark Crangle, Insights From the Clock Project: The Cumbria Clock Company

14.40 John Reyntiens, Insights from the Glass Project: Reyntiens Glass Studio

15.05 Chris McKay, Big Ben in Picture Postcards

15.30 Short break

15.45 Keith Scobie-Youngs, Following the Footsteps of the Clockmakers of Ben: A Journey of Conservation and Restoration

16.30 Closing words. The museum will close at 17.00.

We look forward to welcoming as many members as possible, and guests are also welcome.

Attending in person at Greenwich

The full-day programme charge of £25 for in-person attendees at Greenwich covers the cost of buffet lunch and refreshments. To book for the in-person event, please complete this form. You can pay by debit or credit card, or using a PayPal account.

Conference options
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Seats for in-person attendance at the NMM are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re not able to book online, or have any questions, please contact the AHS Secretary, Helen Chapman, on 020 7062 7479 (+44 20 7062 7479 from outside the UK) or secretary@ahsoc.org.

There is no charge for members wishing to attend the AGM only, between 13.15 and 14.15, but please could you let Helen Chapman know in advance.

Attending online via Zoom

There is no charge for attending the full-day event online via Zoom. To book for the online event, please use this link. You will receive a Zoom Webinar link once you have registered.

The AHS reserves the right to alter the published programme as necessary. Please also note that the in-person event is subject to change or cancellation at any time. We would only do this for matters outside our control, and would contact attendees by email, so do please keep checking, and bear it in mind when making travel arrangements.