BHI celebrates 80th birthday of Speaking Clock at summer show


The British Horological Institute’s 2016 Summer Show will celebrate the 80th birthday of the Speaking Clock.

The annual show will take place at the BHI’s Upton Hall headquarters in Newark over the weekend of 18-19 June.

Ethel Cain’s voice as the Speaking Clock was first heard in 1936. In its opening year the service logged 13 million calls – over 35,000 a day – in later years this figure rose to an annual total of 100 million calls.

Ray Walford, BHI chairman, says: “Visitors to our Summer Show will be able to hear Ethel again and marvel at this wonder of horological technology. That is really the essence of the Show – it is a rare chance for the public to view our collection and it is fun for the whole family.”

Over time the voice of the clock and the way in which it was recorded changed, but Speaking Clocks No 1 and No 2 are part of the collection that is on show, next to numerous items such as clocks from the 17th century and modern miracles of innovation. Highlights include the watch Captain Scott carried on his fateful mission to the South Pole and a fully operational water clock.

The Summer Show takes place in the magnificent Grade 2* listed Upton Hall, which is surrounded by open gardens and grounds. Inside there are activities for the whole family, from a Teddy Bear hunt, clock face colouring and hands-on watch and clock workshop demonstrations.

Doors open at 10am until 4pm with tickets costing £5 or £3 to BHI members. Children under 16 are free.



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