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Raymond Mellor founder of CWC dies aged 95

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This will be of interest to military watch collectors:

Obituary Guardian 14/10/19 written by Jon Silverman :

" Founder of the Cabot Watch Company, whose stopwatches were used by officials in the 1983 FA Cup final"

"My father-in-law, Raymond Mellor, who has died aged 95, was a considerable figure in the world of clocks and watches. In 1962 he set up the London office of the Swiss-based Hamilton Watch Company, and later, when it was taken over by an American concern, he established his own firm, the Cabot Watch Company( named after one of his heroes, the 15th-century explorer John Cabot), whose distinctive CWC stopwatches are still in circulation.

In 1983, Cabot supplied the timepieces with which the referee and linesmen officiated in the FA cup final between Manchester United and Brighton .Benefiting from complimentary tickets,I watched the game(as a United supporter) with passionate interest while,next to me, Ray's attention wandered between his own watch and the actions of the referee, on edge lest the timekeeping be found at fault.

Ray was born in Chiswick, west London, the son of Polish Ukrainian emigres, Elizabeth(nee Bulinsky) and Nachum Chmelnitzsky (who changed his name to Norman Mellor when he became a British citizen). Norman later worked for the BBC. Ray went to Harrow county school but left at the outbreak of the second world war and through family connections, joined a tug company in Bristol. At the age of 16 Ray was running the company's offices at the Avonmouth Docks and, at night, firewatching on the ships at the height of the blitz. Later he joined the merchant navy, working as a purser on the Cunard troop ships, including the Queen Elizabeth, during the battle of the Atlantic.

At the end of the war he returned and met Phyllis Canter on the 183 bus. They married in 1948. By then Ray had had enough of the sea, and joined a chain of cutlery and watch shops owned by Phyllis's uncle, rising to be joint manager before joining the Hamilton Watch Company.

Ray had a fine bass voice and, at one time, contemplated a career as a professional singer, but realised he would probably not make it to the top. However, in 1962 he joined the New Philharmonia Chorus and sang with them for 12 years, in the UK and abroad, under most of the great conductors from Klemperer to Giulini and sharing the stage with such singers as Birgit Nilsson and Jon Vickers.

Ray was master of the Clockmakers Company in 1987-88, chairman and later president of the British Horological Institute, chairman of the watch and Clock Importers Association and a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Phyllis died in 2000. Ray is survived by their children, Jackie and Simon, and four grandchildren, Alex, Daniel, Phoebe and Imogen.

Jon Silverman. "

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