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Clifford Norman Bowler, Watchmaker


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Shot for Channel 4 in 1991, The Watchmaker, is a 10 minute documentary which glances at the life of Clifford Norman Bowler (1899-1993) a long-standing English watchmaker and definitely someone many of us would have liked to meet.

 

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Mr. Bowler belonged to the precise profession for over 70 years until his death at 93. Initially working for others in Manchester after he left the army, he set up his own repair shop at 54 Mill Lane, West Hamsptead, which he acquired for 100 pounds and run for over 67 years. Today there is a plate commemorating him at the entrance of his former premises.

 
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In the film he can be seen at his work bench smoking a pipe or inspecting watches with an eye loupe and at the counter taking several orders from customers (cleaning a pocket watch, changing a strap or a pin). He recounts for the camera his beginnings and how he moved to London, as well as remembering relatives. When asked about the secret of his longevity, he confesses this to owe to a contented mind, regular habits and a peaceful life.

 

Sadly he did not leave any followers: 'All the knowledge that I have obtained and learned during over sixty years that I have been here, it all comes to nothing. I can't pass my knowledge on which I'd like to'.

 

His shop, still vacant more than a decade later after his disappearance, symbolises the emptiness left by an irreplaceable man.

 

There is more info about him in this article: http://westhampsteadlife.com/2014/01/15/a-moment-in-time-on-mill-lane/9921

 

If you ever met this man or heard about him, your comments could help to honour his memory.

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Shot for Channel 4 in 1991, The Watchmaker, is a 10 minute documentary which glances at the life of Clifford Norman Bowler (1899-1993) a long-standing English watchmaker and definitely someone many of us would have liked to meet.

 

attachicon.gifClifford Bowler.jpg

 

Mr. Bowler belonged to the precise profession for over 70 years until his death at 93. Initially working for others in Manchester after he left the army, he set up his own repair shop at 54 Mill Lane, West Hamsptead, which he acquired for 100 pounds and run for over 67 years. Today there is a plate commemorating him at the entrance of his former premises.

 

attachicon.gifmill_lane_watchmaker_plaque.jpg

 

In the film he can be seen at his work bench smoking a pipe or inspecting watches with an eye loupe and at the counter taking several orders from customers (cleaning a pocket watch, changing a strap or a pin). He recounts for the camera his beginnings and how he moved to London, as well as remembering relatives. When asked about the secret of his longevity, he confesses this to owe to a contented mind, regular habits and a peaceful life.

 

Sadly he did not leave any followers: 'All the knowledge that I have obtained and learned during over sixty years that I have been here, it all comes to nothing. I can't pass my knowledge on which I'd like to'.

 

His shop, still vacant more than a decade later after his disappearance, symbolises the emptiness left by an irreplaceable man.

 

There is more info about him in this article: http://westhampsteadlife.com/2014/01/15/a-moment-in-time-on-mill-lane/9921

 

If you ever met this man or heard about him, your comments could help to honour his memory.

Great vid. He must have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge with 60 years of watch/clock repair. Working with no finger cots & smoking  a pipe while he worked amazing.

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Great post Edmund, and loved the video. Brings back memories of an almost identical shop when I was a kid in Ireland. Bit sad when he talked about the loss of knowledge. Really makes you appreciate what Mark does in his videos, as this is my only form of any training, the rest is trial and error.

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