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Once Upon a Time, two bored students were wondering around Colchester in their free periods, with no money in their pockets, and an urge to do something a bit different for a change. So myself and my friend Louise (the princesses of the story), found ourselves wondering into the Clock Museum, situated in Trinity Street, in Colchester, Essex (by the public library). Now I vaguly remember visiting here many years ago when I was in primary school, but as I really don’t remember that visit, we’ll say that I am basing this review on first impressions. The building is named ‘Tymperleys’ after the house which formally stood between what is now the museum, and Trinity Street, only part of which has survived today. Old Tymperleys was the home of William Gilberd (1544-1603), A distinguished Elizabethan scientist. The museum was opened on the 16th May, 1987 by the mayor of Colchester, Councillor R.E Russell, and has approximately fifty to eighty visitors a day, so chances are, it won’t be overly busy if you visit. The opening entrance to the museum is beautifully complementry to the 16th Century Elizabethan style building with a large wooden door, and ceiling and walls complete with exposed wooden beams. The building is set in a small, but perfectly formed garden, with The museum features many clocks of a Colchester origin, including thirty-hour clocks from 1698, and quite a large collection of pocket watches. An unusal example is a clock signed by a woman, Jane Spurgin, who carried on her husband’s buisness after his death. There are also many clock panels with an oriental style design, contrasting with the more traditional clock faces. There are several examples of Worsester porcelain, painted with views of Colchester castle to admire, as well as information of the history of the oldest recorded town in Brit
ian. The exhibitions are presented well, without over crowding the rooms. The museum is an East Of England Tourist board Quality Assured Visitor Attraction, which means it has been visited by an independent assessor who looks at all the aspects of the visitor experience. This small museum will give visitors an opportunity to learn about a different aspect of Colchester’s heriage, but take my advice... don’t bother if clocks or local heritage sites aren’t your cup of tea, or you’re not a bored student with nothing better to do with their time.