Passing on the skills
J A Alcock & Son are deeply committed to passing on the skills to the next generation to ensure the continued practice of traditional horology in an ever technically dependant world.
Ross is working with Bryn who expressed an interest in becoming a clock maker at a very young age having visited Upton Hall for one of the open weekends, a place that he is still frequenting at every opportunity.
Bryn approached Ross and asked if it would be possible to undertake some training over and above his formal schooling. This was something that Ross has been more than happy to help with and he has attended several Saturdays in the workshop over the last few years. Bryn has even attended a week's work experience at J A Alcock & Son. Over the course of his week Bryn stripped, cleaned and rebuilt a French Comptoire clock putting into practice many of the skills he had learnt in the workshop prior to the start of his work experience.
The Next Generation
Ross Alcock has been chairing a working group with a number of other clock makers constructing a new apprenticeship scheme for the training of clock makers and repairers for the future.
The apprenticeship is well on the way with the standard of work having been approved by the Department of Education, this can be viewed on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.
The apprenticeship is designed to give training to ensure that the fundamental skills are continued into the next generation and allow employers to train new staff in a cost effective manner. covering all areas of clock repair from theoretical to practical, manufacture and design of components and basic conservation and restoration practices and ethics.
The apprenticeship in brief requires a student to undertake commercial clock repairs under the watchful eye of a practicing clock maker building a portfolio of work carried out and to pass the assessments at the end of the two year period.
The apprenticeship is supported by the British Horological Institute and the British Watch & Clock Makers Guild both of whom at this time are considering giving professional membership to those that successfully complete the apprenticeship scheme.
The work is on going but it is hoped that the apprenticeship will be ready to accept students on the 1st September 2019.