Long case clock

Contributed by Mike Roles


In the mid-19th century Benjamin Disraeli bought a long-case (Grandfather) clock from George Strange, ironmonger of High Wycombe, to be used as the official time-piece for the parish of Hughenden.   However, it was soon made obsolete by the coming of the railway to High Wycombe with the need for a common national time, correct to the minute, essential for the running of a rail timetable.   

The clock was eventually sold to an employee of Disraeli called Hussey and again, just after the Great War, to his nephew, my maternal grandfather, Aubrey Goodchild for £5.    Aubrey was younger brother to Jack Goodchild, chair-maker and last of the "bodgers", (traditional rural craftsman who made furniture in the Chiltern woodlands)

Thus, it embodies a major turning-point in world history, when the industrial revolution finally swept away the agrarian age: the horse gave way to the train, the craftsman to the machine.

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