Posts Tagged ‘pocket watch’

The Pocket Watch

February 23, 2014

As quite a youngster I had a pocket watch. Actually, back in those days, getting a watch was one of those rights of passage that marked the journey from childhood into adulthood. I had been the proud owner of a wrist watch but I suspect that it stopped working. For some reason, I requested a pocket watch as a replacement – and I got one.

I wonder why I chose a pocket watch.  I suppose one reason was the railway interest, Railwaymen used pocket watches. My grandfather, who was a train guard, had a watch which I coveted. Or perhaps I recognised that I wasn’t the same as other people (but then we are all different). But maybe, for me, the presence of a pocket watch was some kind of a visible symbol of a determination to be just a bit unconventional. I know I thought of myself as unconventional. I didn’t follow fashion, didn’t have much to do with pop music, had to be coerced into saying I followed a football team (I chose Southampton because nobody else had) and I couldn’t be bothered with places like cinemas. My parents were a bit on the unconventional side. Our holidays were certainly different from other people’s seaside boarding house or beach caravan breaks. And we never had a TV. My dad had a phrase – ‘fifty million people can’t be right’. I check myself from saying it these days. After all, there is a chance that those 50 000 000 people have got it right. I think my dad was implying that the population tended to follow like sheep, with no real thought.

Anyway, determined not to follow like sheep, I got my pocket watch. It doesn’t work anymore, but I still have it.

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It isn’t red. It is silver coloured and is reflecting the surroundings.

It’s an Ingersoll and they were actually made in England. I daresay parents were delighted I wanted a pocket watch for they were cheaper than wrist watches. I believe this one, purchases in about 1958, cost twenty five shillings. That’s one pond and 25p in present money. The coming of cheap electronic timepieces, manufactured in Asia makes that a colossal price for these days – somewhere between thirty and sixty pounds.

I still don’t like wearing a wrist watch. Indeed, I lost my wrist watch for a couple of years. It re-appeared after a break in camping, wrapped up in our tent. I lost it again recently but found it in my table tennis bat case when I acquired a new bat.

A Collision of Interests

November 29, 2012

If you look at this blog with any regularity, you’ll know I’m interested in family history and railways. On 7th June 1884 an event took place which merges both interests. The location was the railway station at Sevenoaks in Kent. The event was a train crash involving great great grandfather, John Ware. A local photographer recorded the scene soon after this event.

John had been driving that leading engine. He and his fireman were crushed and killed. Interestingly the second engine – the one on its side – came off better and the crew survived. Both engines were hauling the same goods train which ran into another at the station.

A distant relative has the pocket watch that my ancestor had with him whilst driving this train.

The lock of hair was inside (and still is) the watch. We do not know whose hair it is. I guess it is probably the hair of his first wife who had died in 1869. John married my great great grandmother, Amelia, in 1871

So two interests collided with fatal results – and here’s an afterthought.

After three years, Amelia finally had access to John’s estate – a princely £5 worth. A couple of years later, she remarried