Monday, 24 October 2011
Automata Street Clock in Gloucester
This afternoon I called into Gloucester after spending the weekend in The Forest of Dean. In Southgate Street is a lovely Victorian Jewellers shop with an amazing Automata above the shop windows. It was installed by GABaker the first owner of the shop in 1904. It was made by Messrs Niehus Brothers of Bristol.
The life size figures or Jacks are a girl representing Ireland, a Man John Bull representing England, A man playing pipes for Scotland and a Welsh girl. In the centre is Old Father Time. The chimes are in the notes of A,B,D and G with Father Time string the hours in D. The striking bells ring on the hours and quarters.
I've been trying to find out more about the brothers.....which is proving blooming difficult. So far I've found that they were called William and Edward. I have two volumes of Watchmakers and clock makers of the world and I can't find them. They must have been well respected and good makers applying for a patent in 1907 for improvements in chiming and striking clocks. It's a shame to find it difficult to find them when they were building such brilliant clocks. I wonder that the carved figures were made by a Bristol ships figurehead carver, even Anderson, who made fabulous Fairground horses in 3 Commercial Row, Hotwell Road Bristol.. I think I'll have to call the shop to see if they know more.