This is a photograph that has always fascinated me. Set behind an impressive shop front in Stoke Road, Gosport, it features my grandfather, Cyril Norman Aubrey Ruff (the bespectacled gentleman looking at the camera), sitting at the bench with three other clockmakers. It is difficult to say whether he was actually working at the bench or simply sitting there for the purposes of the photograph, which I understand was subsequently used for promotional purposes. From the perspective of our digital age, it is surprising to note just how many clocks can be counted in the picture!
This was a time prior to the advent of the wristwatch and they plied their trade repairing bedside table, wall or mantelpiece clocks, which were the everyday way people told the time in those days. It is hard to imagine now how anyone could afford to employ as many as three craftsmen under the one roof. Presumably, the clocks went wrong sufficiently often to justify the expense. World War II was just around the corner and I know that my father came back from a tour in Palestine in 1947 on a fraction of his reasonable army pay and a mountain of clocks to repair.