08 April 2021
In early 2021, West Dean College approached the Clockmakers' Charity, hoping for assistance to increase student capacity in its horological workshop. The Charity was pleased to be able to award a grant of £8,850.
The current workshop at the College has been in existence since the early 1990s with a capacity for 8 students. Following a concerted effort to make access possible for a larger number of students, the college has seen a rise in students applying to join their 2 year foundation program which teaches the basics of Horology through tool and Clockmaking before moving on to learn restorative/conservation techniques, with a number of these students go on to a third year of study. The College is therefore planning to expand their capacity from 8 to14 students, 12 spaces for full time students and space for professional development students/apprenticeships in the future.
The contribution from the Clockmakers' Charity will fund small bench mounted removable vices for fine work, new standard vices for 14 benches, 2 second hand watchmakers lathes and hand wheels, 4 additional basic tool kits for new students, a Variable speed motor for use on watchmakers lathes and 8 new Swiss platform escapements and spare parts for teaching purposes.