The Northern Section meetings offer a variety of formal lectures and club nights at their meeting hall together with staging exhibitions at local museums, demonstrations of horological conservation and visits to horological places of interest.

The Club Nights and Lectures usually alternate each month with a guest lecturer being invited to give a presentation to the meeting, often with visual aids and exhibits. For the club night a theme is chosen, and members are encouraged to bring items for display, and possibly to say a few words about them.

The meetings are friendly, relaxed and give the opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests, exchange views, ideas, and get help with solving your horological problems. As well as this you relax with refreshments whist your discussions take place.

Our meetings are held on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 for 8:00 pm and carry on until everyone leaves, usually between 10:30 and 11:00 pm. The venue is in the church hall behind the old Trinity Chapel off Northenden Road, Sale Moor, where there is ample parking around the hall. This is located on the south side of Manchester within half a mile of Sale Railway station and close to the M60 junctions 6 and 7.

Visitors and new members are always most welcome.

Northern Section

To be held at Trinity Methodist Church, Trinity Road, Sale, Cheshire, M33 3ED at 7.30pm, unless otherwise stated

Friday 13 April

CLUB NIGHT: Bring and discuss letter T

Friday 18 May

LECTURE: ‘Pendulum clocks of North West Finland’ by Robin Hill

Wednesday 23 May

VISIT to a private collection

Friday 8 June

CLUB NIGHT: Marine/maritime timekeeping and instruments

Recent Meetings

Meeting reports for previous years: 2017

The evolution of the waterproof watch, 1851-1935.    (March 2018)

When David Boettcher inherited two Rolex wristwatches (dated 1917/18) from his grandparents, an interest in Rolex was kindled. He learned that the Oyster was claimed to be the world's first truly waterproof watch when it was introduced by Rolex in 1926; this focused David's research into the development of the waterproof watch. Like most products, the Oyster was the result of a series of improvements throughout the second half of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth century. Searches revealed a waterproof pocket watch from as far back as 1851, when one was exhibited suspended in a bowl of fish at the Great Exhibition. David described the sequence of developments which were mainly driven by the requirements of explorers and the military, which led to the production of the Oyster.

Rolex Oyster. (Image by kind permission of and © OldeTimers)
The case has a Glasgow Assay Office import hallmark for 1927-1928

Work in Progress  (February 2018)

Members brought in their current projects. These included a slide-show of research into the use of squirrel designs on watches made during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and photos of a walnut marquetry longcase made by one of our members to house a clock by William Grimes of c. 1690. One member showed components he has made for a case to house a minute repeating fob watch movement to convert it into a wristwatch. Its small size (30mm diameter) and 3 o'clock position winding crown make it ideal to be worn on the wrist. We were updated on progress on the making of six Harrison H3 Sea Clock replicas - pendulum design, manufacture and testing are the current project. Restoration of a pretty thirty hour alarm wall clock by William Gill of Maidstone was another subject for discussion as was a proof copy of a new book by Keith Bates: Early Clock and Watchmakers of the Blacksmiths Company, which will be published later this year.

Detail of a marquetry door panel of the new case
for an orphan clock movement
by William Grimes c. 1690
Newly constructed replica of the pendulum
of John Harrison's Sea Clock, H3

AGM (January 2018)

The forty-ninth AGM of the Northern Section was followed by two horologically themed DVDs. One had old movie footage from the 1920s of winding the three train clock at St Michael and All Angels' Church, Croston, Lancashire. The three train clock was made by WH Bailey & Co., in 1882 and installed at Croston the following year. The second DVD came from the National Museum Speelklok, Utrecht and featured the amazing 'Napoleon Clock' by Louis Moinet. This musical clock with automata was made in 1806 and presented to Napoleon by the people of Lyon. 

The clock at St Michael and All Angels' Church, Croston, Lancashire
made by WH Bailey & Co, Albion Works, Salford, Manchester in 1882.