Maule Clocks

Missing link

The story about my visit to Wooler and the amazing chance meeting with Nancie Foster appeared in the local Press. Feeling rather pleased with my lucky strike, I decided to take a Maule Clock Census and Northumberland Gazette and Berwick Advertiser readers were invited to contact me if they owned one. I received over a dozen calls from all around the region - Shilbottle, Alnwick, Alnmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Morpeth and Ashington.

It was particularly exciting to see one from Ashington and compare it with my own 'John Maule and Sons of Newcastle upon Tyne'. The dials are remarkably similar but not marked with dial maker. It was in an original state but, unlike mine, did not boast the 'optional extra' Gold Leaf detail.

The aficionado, who also worked on the 'John Maule' restoration, said: "The Wooler clock is in a style of case which barely changed in this area for almost half a century. Even clocks of c.1850-1860 from North Northumberland retain this elegant style, and never look 'Victorian' in character. It is very interesting, therefore, to compare it with the Newcastle-made John Maule clock, which is more 'avant garde' in style. The dial size has now increased to 14" - this dial having no false plate or maker's mark.

"The case is big and bold, typical of other Newcastle clocks towards the end of longcase production, with use of mahogany veneers and bobbin turning on the pillars. By moving to Newcastle, the Maules must have entered into a much more competitive marketplace, and had to sell what a more fashionable public wanted. It is sad to reflect that this must have been one of the last traditional English longcase clocks made before cheap imported OGs killed them off."

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