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Nottinghamshire's Timekeeping Museum wins award after recent popularity - but what is it?

Nottinghamshire’s Timekeeping Museum wins award after recent popularity – but what is it?

A Nottinghamshire museum which features timekeeping items of national fame has been proving popular with tourists.

Operating at the 190-year-old Upton Hall, near Newark, the Museum of Timekeeping was established in 1994.

The museum features a range of of clocks, watches, other timekeeping items and more than 10,000 books, journals and other literature on horology, accumulated over the 160 years history of the British Horological Institute – which focuses on the study of time.

In November, the Museum of Timekeeping picked up an award in the Visit Nottinghamshire Hospitality 2018 Stars Awards, winning the best ‘New Tourism Business’ award.

Prize exhibits at the museum include working versions of the first three Speaking Clocks used by millions who dialled TIM in order to check the correct time.

The 150-year-old original St. Pancras clock and Captain Scott’s pocket watch rescued from Antarctica are just another two of the many ‘jewels’ on display.

There have been regular openings to the public throughout the summer visits from groups of up to 50 at a time.

Operating at Upton Hall, near Newark, which is nearly 200 years old, the Museum of Timekeeping was formed in January 2018.
(Image: Museum of Timekeeping)

Dawn Barnes as chief operations manager at the museum said: “The collection is remarkable and almost everything revolves around time these days but it was less important in the past.

“Our earliest 17 century clocks on display only had hour hands as they were accurate within 45 minutes a day.

“Amazingly within 20 years clocks were transformed to an accuracy within seconds.

“We have also carried out a successful pilot scheme to work with schools to use the collection to improve numeracy and other skills.

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“Hollywell School from Kimberley brought 30 children for the day and educational topics included time telling, numeracy, art, poetry and tales of resilience.

“The feedback from the children was remarkable and we are looking to roll out the programmes to 25 more schools in the coming year.”

Guests have been entertained on the history of time by curator Viscount Alan Midleton and his team. Alan found fame as the clock and watch expert on the Antiques Roadshow for many years.

A development plan has been put together to make the museum financially independent within three years and is already underway.

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Alan Midleton said: “Dawn Barnes and John Hope (chief development officer) have been brought in for their commercial and business experience.

“Funding cutbacks to the Arts is making many organisations take a more commercial view of the way in which they operate and we are no different.

“We are building partnerships with other attractions in order to promote the local area, offering interesting and educational days out for groups and developing a school’s project to assist numeracy improvement.

“We have a fantastic collection housed in a glorious setting and feedback from groups is excellent.

“Increase in opening times will make us more accessible to the public and our ‘kids’ free policy’ swelled number during the recent holiday period.’’