The Court, Committees & Panels

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The Court

This is the oldest Master's badge of the Clockmakers' Company, designed and made by William Parker in 1873. William Parker himself became Master in 1878.

This is the oldest Master’s badge of the Clockmakers’ Company, designed and made by William Parker in 1873. William Parker himself became Master in 1878.

The governing body of the Company is the Court of Assistants, comprising the Master, three Wardens and not less than ten Assistants. Through the provisions of the Charter the Master’s power is enshrined in the power of veto. The Wardens, in order of seniority, are the Senior Warden, the Renter Warden (responsible for the Company’s finances) and the Junior Warden. The Assistants are made up of two groups. Those senior members who have served in the office of Master, who are referred to as Past Masters and the more recently elected Assistants who are required, by custom, to serve a minimum of three years as Assistant before being eligible to be promoted to Warden and Master. The Master and Wardens are elected on a show of hands by the Court of Assistants annually and normally serve in each office for one year. In recent times election is usually by seniority of appointment to the Court. It is customary but not obligatory for the newly appointed Master to nominate his immediate predecessor as Deputy Master.

Election to the Court is for life although, in practice, if an assistant feels he/she can no longer serve a useful function on the Court by virtue of age, infirmity or any other reason they may seek the Court’s permission to retire. This will normally be granted.

Chest 123623

The Company Chest with four locks, used to hold the Company’s valuable items from August 2nd 1766. The Master and the three wardens each had a different key

There are currently 29 members of the Court. Their names are listed under The Court page on this web-site.

Much of the detailed work of the Company is delegated by the Court to various Committees and Advisory Panels invariably chaired by a member of the Court and often the Master or a Past Master. Their names may be found in the current Livery List

The Finance & Related Purposes Committee

The main committee is the Finance and Related Purposes Committee which is open to all members of the Court. It deals with all Company matters which are not the sole responsibility of the specialist panels. It sits four times a year before each Quarter Court and at such other times as may be necessary for the proper conduct of its affairs. It is chaired by the Master; the three Wardens and up to three Liverymen are members. All meetings are usually held at the Clockmakers’ Company Office in Carpenters’ Hall.

The Charity Committee

The Charity Committee advises the Court on the raising and expenditure of the charitable funds held in the Clockmakers’ Charity. There are three main charitable areas in the Clockmakers’ Charity namely Education (to provide bursaries, scholarships and apprenticeships in horology and the measurement of time), the Collection (to fund acquisitions, exhibit restoration, etc., for the Clockmakers’ Museum) and General (to fund donations to a range of City charities). Collection Fund matters are dealt with separately by the Collection Committee.  Meetings are held quarterly in January, March, June and September and are usually held in the Clockmakers’ Office.

The Investment Panel

In order to assist the F&RPC in connection with the Company’s investments an Investment Panel, consisting of a small group of experts together with selected members of the Court under a permanent Chairman, is appointed and authorised to make day to day adjustments to the Company’s portfolio. This Panel may make other recommendations on financial matters to the F&RPC if it considers it appropriate.  All meetings are usually held at the fund manager’s offices.

The Awards Panel

This is responsible for recommending to the Court suitable candidates for special awards – primarily the Tompion Gold Medal, the Harrison Medal and the Derek Pratt Prize.   The Tompion Gold Medal, initiated in 1953, is awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of horology. It is named after one of our most illustrious Past Masters. The Harrison Medal, named after the illustrious John Harrison, commemorates outstanding achievements in propagating knowledge of the history of clockmaking and its appreciation.  The Committee is chaired by aa Past Master and includes members of the Court and other eminent members of the Company. The Master is an ex officio member.  Nominations for any of these three awards are welcome, and can be made either direct to the Chairman of the Awards Panel or via the Clerk …. see Awards for Excellence in Horology

The Selection Advisory Panel

A Selection Panel chaired by a Past Master, is appointed to assist the Court in all matters pertaining to the admission to the Freedom, election to the Livery, membership of Committees and Panels, and election to the Court. The Panel may also advise on policy regarding the strength and composition of the Livery and of the Court and the numbers of Freemen who may be admitted to the Company. They also recommend changes to the fines and quarterage when necessary. This panel usually meets four times a year. All meetings are usually held at the Clockmakers’ Company Office in Carpenters’ Hall.

The Social Events Panel

The Social Events Panel organises events for the company’s membership which are not normally part of the company’s social calendar. The events may be one-off or occur regularly and are designed to appeal to all members. The Panel is chaired by a Liveryman of the Company.

The Merchandising Advisory Panel

The Merchandising Panel reviews and maintains the range of products available from the Company’s on-line shop.

The Clockmakers’ Collection Committee

The Collection Committee is part of the Clockmakers’ Charity (the owners of the Library and Collection) and is responsible for the maintenance and display of the Clockmakers’ world famous collections of clocks, watches, manuscripts, books and pictures.  The Chairman of the Committee is elected by the Court members. Since 2015, the clocks, watches and other horological items in the Clockmakers’ Museum have been on display at the Science Museum, South Kensington London. Admission is free.

The Clerk attends all Court Meetings and Committee/Panel meetings subject to other commitments.

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The Clockmakers of London

New 88 page edition of “The Clockmakers of London” now published by Sir George White, with substantially revised text and a large number of stunning new illustrations. Read more about it  …. & you can buy it for £15 on this link.

Training to be a Clockmaker?

If you are looking for information about the training opportunities for a career in clock and watchmaking, see A HELPING HAND FOR STUDENTS Further details can be obtained from clerk@clockmakers.org

Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) Lectures

A formal affiliation was signed in 2014 between the WCC and the AHS. WCC Liverymen and Freemen are encouraged to attend the excellent AHS Lectures, which are free to WCC members and include teas before and wine afterwards, so are very social and interesting events. List of forthcoming lectures in London is on the AHS site.

National Benevolent Society of Watch & Clock Makers