Extra work for Shropshire horologist inundated after clocks go back
Having the clocks change twice a year is a mixed blessing for a busy Shropshire horologist.
Jeff Rosson, of City Clocks in Ludlow, says every time the clocks change he is inundated with calls for help after the mechanisms are damaged by their owners.
Jeff, aged 80, is a horologist who has been working with clock mechanisms for the last 60 years.
He said: "I expect to get extra work for a month when the clocks change when the mechanisms are damaged."
But Jeff, who followed in the ticks and tocks of his father Walter Rosson and grandfather Charles Rosson in the the family business, says he is as busy now in his workshop at Lingen Road, on Ludlow Business Park, than he has ever been.
The family business was set up in 1898 and includes staff in London.
Every week they attend to clocks in public buildings, museums, boardrooms, wine bars, stately homes, farmhouses, town houses and small apartments. The company craftsmen have ventured throughout Europe, USA and Australia.
"I am looking for an apprentice without success," says Jeff. "I wish we could find someone who wanted to do it."
Jeff says initially he did not want to go into horology as a career.
"I did not want to do it at all," he said. "I wanted to go into farming but couldn't get into agricultural college."
But he admits that working for his father and developing such a skill was "quite useful".
Jeff, who has had a cataract operation, says his eyesight for all the close up work is "brilliant" and "not far off the eyesight" he had when he was younger.
Jeff used to have a shop at Quality Square in Ludlow but has moved his collection of antique clocks to New Street, in Leominster. His repair workshop remains in Ludlow.
He says that at one time Ludlow used to be the local centre for antique clocks but that has changed.
"The customer traffic in Ludlow never recovered from Covid, it just never got back.
"The shop was losing money week after week so in the end we had to give it up even though ending the lease was not an easy process."
Jeff, a fellow of the British Horological Institute, adds that the antiques markets seems to have moved to Leominster where he says footfall is good.
"We have a much higher footfall in Leominster, it is at the levels that Ludlow used to have 30 to 40 years ago.
"Ludlow became a foodie town but I think even that is changing as well. I love Ludlow but it is changing."
The company's former base at Mercia House, Quality Square, Ludlow, is on the property market with Cooper Green Pooks, in Shrewsbury, and Rightmove. It is being marketed with a rental of £746 per month or £8,950 per annum.
The agents say it is suitable for a range of retail uses and is close to many distinctive period buildings, located off Castle Street in the centre of Ludlow.
Nearby occupiers include Ludlow Hairitage Hairdresser, The Bakehouse Bar and Kitchen, Sourced Pizza and the Rose and Crown public house.