In 1927 Bernard Mason, a Colchester businessman, bought a clock made by Thomas Thorp of Colchester. This purchase sparked a lifetime’s obsession as he began to search for other clocks by Colchester makers. His wife, Evelyn, contributed to his research by examining parish registers, old newspapers and the Borough Records for other references and information.
Over the years, Bernard Mason’s collection grew and with it the story of these Colchester craftsmen was painstakingly pieced together. In 1969, the results of all his research were published in a book called ‘Clock and Watchmaking in Colchester’.
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In 1979, Bernard Mason gave the clock collection to the people of Colchester and it has remained part of the museum’s collections ever since. The collection is significant because it is so comprehensive, including examples by almost all the clockmakers who had businesses in the town.