Monday, 26 February 2007

William

Meet our "William".

William is a long case clock, otherwise known as a "Grandfather Clock", made by William Rippon of South Shields, County Durham, England in the middle of the 19th century, approximately 1850. He's lived on the second floor of our house for almost 15 years (the clock, not Mr Rippon).

The clock has an 8 day mechanism, and a hand painted dial with a typical country scene in the arch. There are date and seconds dials, but the date dial has never been connected.... perhaps he was a no-frills model. He has brass hands, and a wide polished mahogany case.

William Rippon was born at Iveston, Lanchester, County Durham, England, on 18 April 1809, and was baptised 14 August 1809. He was the youngest child of John Rippon and Hannah Short, who were married in 1793.

It's not known where William Rippon apprenticed to learn his craft, but we know he was a clock and watchmaker in South Shields from 1834 to 1864. He operated out of premises at 16 West Holborn 1834-1841, 66 West Holborn 1847-1850, and 83 West Holborn 1855-1864.

William and his wife Mary had no children, and Mary was left a widow on William's death in 1865. By 1871, Mary was described as a "Property owner", but ten years later she had fallen on hard times and was described as a "mangle woman". Mary Rippon died aged 88 in South Shields in 1897.
I wonder how many more examples of William Rippon's clocks are still counting the minutes and chiming the hours. I'm very fond of dear William, and I love hearing his musical tones every hour on the hour. He groans and wheezes a bit at times, but so would you if you were over 150 years old.

18 comments:

rosemary said...

What a beautiful piece of history....what is a mangle woman??? When I was little my mother had a "mangle." It was an industrial type of iron (huge) She took in laundry (that she did with a wringer washer that was hooked up to a hose in the yard) boiled water to pour into the washer and then hung to dry. She starched the laundry and ironed the pieces with this mangle!

Ex-Shammickite said...

I remember my mother having a mangle on the washing tub, 2 rollers turned in opposite directions by a handle to squeeze the water out of the washing before hanging it outside on the line. The equivalent of a modern day washer's "spin cycle" I suppose.

L.L. Barkat said...

have always wanted a grandfather clock... there is something comforting about its rhythm

photowannabe said...

You have a beautiful treasure in your home. The face of the clock is so lovely. I hope it continues to chime for years to come.

Zsolt72 said...

I like old clocks like this. My grandma had a smaller one and I always loved to listen to its "voice"

Ginnie said...

The way you have so lovingly described this heirloom, Ex-S, I think you could easily use him as a tax deduction each year! :) Just wonderful!

bigbikerbob said...

Hi,What a beautiful clock and its history so fascinating.A mangle woman? a new one on me, but I would imagine it to be a woman who used to have to take in washing to earn a crust as Rosemary said.When we were first married my wife inherited one from my mother,she used this for a further 5yrs or so,can you imagine women today standing outside in a yard defrosting a mangle and wringing clothes into a tin bath?.

Libbys Blog said...

How lovely, I do like your clock, we have one but its not nearly as posh as yours!!

Gardengirl said...

The clock is beautiful. I love the history that you posted on the clock. My Grandparents had a lovely old clock that chimed on the hour and half hour. I always found it to be a very soothing sound growing up. To this day I have to have a wind up clock in my bedroom so that I can hear it ticking. Thanks for visitng my blog. It's nice to meet another Ontario person.

Peggy said...

Nice clock - be careful if you ever have to move it!

The Toronto Team said...

Wow! It's like the history of England in that clock. It's great fun to research things that one owns. I have a lovely little art deco globe lamp from my grandmother that i've always wondered about. Care to research it for me? You're very good at it!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh such a lovely clock...and you gave it a name...how quaint !

Does it run on batteries or just a simple plug-in-the-wall model?

Ex-Shammickite said...

Be careful, ananymous, I have the power to delete you at ant time!

TorAa said...

I love old clocks like the one you have. Each uniquely and handicrafted. And so precisely after more than 150 years of work. Impressing. I ponder what price you have to pay for a modern clock with such a durability?

=^.^=

lettuce said...

yes! my mum had a mangle on the wash tub, just like that!

I've since then seen one in the science museum. Hahaha, that made me feel old.

They have a clock a bit like this one too.

Runaway Rubber Duckie said...

It's beautiful!!

wbrippon said...

Found your post very interesting. I too am a William Rippon with roots in Yorkshire England and a second name Barton after the town on the Humber river. My father, also William,and there is a pattern here of Williams going back 200 years in the family tree, was a food chemist by profession and watch/clock repairer/restorer by hobbie... I wonder if there is a distant connection

Anonymous said...

I may buy a oak longcase clock by w rippon s shields it has a scene painted on the face called the good shepherd, does any body know of this clock as i would like some feed back before i buy it, also its value?