Monday, 28 February 2011

How to add Soft Industrial elements to your home: An Antique School Clock

Hello, you. Come on in out of the cold.

Well, I say out of the cold, but I do believe it's the feeling rather mild, in my little spot in the Cotswolds. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that I felt sunshine this week.

Real warmth on my back.

Although Mr Modern Country insists otherwise, I say that the 1st of March is the beginning of Spring. Which means that today is the last day of winter.

And look, here are some photos of one of my very favourite things. Ever.

Ever, ever, ever.

It's an antique school clock. A definite note of Soft Industrial.

 I love thinking of its previous life. I wonder how many children have looked at it longingly, waiting for hometime, willing those hands to move faster.

It's not a gigantic one like the pretties in my last post but it's certainly large by most clock standards.

Large enough to be a real statement, which is what I'd hoped for. Not a clock with a photo of rust stuck on it like my first attempt.

It's been lovingly restored by a specialist, and given snazzy new modern workings, while maintaining its outside wondrousness.

Yup, this baby has had its innards removed purposefully. All the cogs and whirrables are gone and have been replaced with a simple Quartz mechanism, accessed through the original hatch at the bottom. Which means there is much, much less to go wrong.

It has a mahogany outer casing with gorgeous brass detailing.

And I love the shape of the clock hands.

And, of course, I love the way the clock proudly declares that it was Made In London, England

I've had such a lovely morning today. All. On. My. Own.

Yes, the children are back to school. No one has chicken pox any longer.

I've had a good tidy up. A good read. A good bit of oboe practice. A potter in the garden. And now a lovely chat with you.

And all before lunch.

Busy. But in a languorously relaxing way. Just a bit of this and a bit of that. Whatever takes my fancy today.

I thought I needed a day or so to rest after quite a hectic few weeks, what with the holidays finished and spotty, ill little ones back to school.

So I plan on taking it easy all day.


Well, at least until the hoardes come home.

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American in Bath said...

I love the term 'home time.'It adds to the joy of being done with school or work, and implies the preferability of being with those we love.

Our school clocks were huge plastic things that were controlled from the main office. I wonder how they did that.

Connie in Hartwood said...

Your new clock is BEAUTIFUL!! Its new modern movement and a periodic battery is much better than our once-per-week sojourn around the house winding all the clocks ... I refuse to buy any clock with less than an 8-day movement ... those 30-hour, wind them every day, clocks are too much work to enjoy. You have probably spurred me to look at old clocks again, hoping to find a lovely one like yours!

Unknown said...

The clock is gorgeous and I love that chandalier that matches so nicely.

coastal village life said...

Your clock is fab! What is also fab is the word wondrousness!! Love it!

Spring has definitely arrived here, though it was frosty this morning but we have crocuses popping up all over the garden and daffodils ready to bloom too. I love Spring!

I'm glad you are getting some time to yourself and the chicken pox are all gone. Our little one is not well just now so we have been having lots of cuddles in between coughing fits.
Have a lovely afternoon,

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Your clock is just lovely, Sarah! I love that it is a school clock. Fantastic. I hope you enjoyed your day to yourself:)

Stina said...

I really like your home. Lovely clock.:-) Hug Stina

Brandi said...

Marvelous clock Sarah! So glad everyone's feeling better and you got to enjoy some time to yourself.

Unknown said...

Lovely clock, our eldest son has purloined a really similar one we were given by my in-laws for his bedroom (cheeky!), giving me the opportunity for a spot of clock-shopping. I saw some spectacular and not ruinously expensive ones in Paris (think i posted on my blog back in November) - really big and slightly distressed, soft industrial in C.M.S. parlance! Love 'em but can't quite justify a cross channel shopping spree!!xx

Unknown said...

oops sorry got my modern country style initials in the wrong order - M C S is what I mean't to write!!

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

It is beautiful and looks lovely against your wall color, which is gorgeous, btw. Enjoy your moment of quiet! Janell

A Whole Lotta Magic said...

Beautiful clock!

It's wonderful you're feeling better.


Anonymous said...

Love the clock and the history behind it. What a treasure and a beautiful spot for it. Your fireplace, wall colour and ceiling are beautiful! It's only 7:45 a.m. here so all I've done is put my hair in a pony tail and had a cup of joe. I can't believe you've been so productive before noon :)Off to take the kids to school. So happy you are a pox free house.

Enjoy your day! xxxxxx ~Michelle

Young Adventures... said...

I love the clock, it is beautiful. I also love that piece on your mantle of the the man and woman wrapped in an embrace!! So glad to hear your children are back to school. Enjoy your day Sarah!

Cindy said...

Hi Sarah,
I'm so glad you're back, I missed your wonderful sense of humor! I love your "S" words!!! So sorry your twins have been so sick, and I'm very glad to hear that everybody is back to normal.
I adore that lovely clock!!! I LoVe large vintage, industrial clocks!!! I don't have one, mine is larger than usual, but alas, it is brand new.
Have a beautiful day, dear friend,
Hugs, Cindy

Room Seventeen said...

Your new clock is beatiful...I love the color on your wall.

At The Picket Fence said...

Oh that kind of day sounds heavenly and just what I need right now...not gonna happen though! :-) I love your clock and all of the charm and character it adds. My Father-in-law is a clock builder (by hobby) so they always hold a special place in our hearts!
Enjoy your relaxing day my friend!

Unknown said...

I like the old schoolclock!
I'm glad the kids are good and the weather is nice ...
Here the weather is very bad ... it snowed this morning, now It has stopped but the sky is very cloudy!
Unfortunately I agree with your husband tomorrow it is still winter!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah, Oh yes, if I had seen such a wonderful clock for sale I should surely have snapped it up....working or not. And, how much better to have it working properly so that it is not only decorative but functional too.

As you say, it makes one think of what scenes have taken place under its auspices....not all happy one could possibly guarantee!!

I am so pleased to read that you are all free of the Pox and that the children have returned to school. I am sre that they are just waiting for their school clock to signal Home Time!!

chris said...

Huzzah for healthy children and a lovely clock. Happy Monday to you.

Luciane at said...

Hello my sweet lady. :-)

This is lovely! I love clocks and this one is very charming!

Now, your morning sounded really good. I so wish I could have a morning "" too! :-)

Have a blessed week, my friend!


Luciane at

Post of the Day: A day at the Ranch.


My favorite kind of day.

Thanks for your thoughts on my blog today.


Holly said...

I love clocks, and that's a really good one!
So glad all your littles are back to health...did they all end up getting the pox?

It's me said...

What a beautiful clock Sarah !! i like it very much...happy week

LindyLouMac said...

Guess what Sarah, we are lucky enough to have an original antique school clock as well, one of our favourite possessions, I really enjoyed this post.

michele said...

you deserve this relaxing day, Sarah! beautiful images today--so clean and crisp.

thanks for joining the shrinking fun today. i so appreciate when you visit and you always crack me up.



Julie Johnson said...

Hurray for healthy families today! All of mine are back in school too....and I've puttered a bit, cleaned, worked out, and did a little work for the church remodel. I bought some pretty sunflowers, and blackberries to nibble on for the afternoon. A bit more cleaning, dinner in the oven, and a snack ready, and all will be good. Enjoy your day!

Julie Johnson said...

Hurray for healthy families today! All of mine are back in school too....and I've puttered a bit, cleaned, worked out, and did a little work for the church remodel. I bought some pretty sunflowers, and blackberries to nibble on for the afternoon. A bit more cleaning, dinner in the oven, and a snack ready, and all will be good. Enjoy your day!

Anonymous said...

That's a lovely clock. Beautiful. The clocks in the public schools I attended were unfortunatly not nearly so pretty. Plastic. Sad. Plain. I'm with you on considering tomorrow the official start of spring. I planted basil seeds yesterday and am looking forward to their tiny sprouts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, Your clock is so beautiful!!


Leah - The Inside Story said...

Hi Sarah, Glad the children are all better and you get a day to yourself. Isn't it the best when you get to potter about doing your own thing. Have a wonderful day! Leahxx

René said...

Yes, I love the feel of the warm sun on my back too Sarah.

The clock is perfect in every way and I too love thinking about the children who have studied it over the years. A nice piece of history indeed.

Daydream Living said...

Hi Sarah, just wanted to say that I stop by tomorrow, have to get some sleep but wanted to say Hi.
So, Hi and Night!
(I want to read your older posts properly that's why)
I know, I have to go now...
somehow your blog seems to be stuck in my head....
ok, over and out now....

Courtenay@Signal Hill Interiors said...

Wow! Your clock is totally the real version of my fake antique clock that I have upstairs in my office. I love the brass, we need to do a little more of that brass again I think.

Shakerboxlynne said...

I absolutely love your blog so well done for all your hard work putting it together. I love the look of your clock but I have to say that I would prefer one with the original workings. Having said that I had to make do with a Laura Ashley version which is battery operated but does have a kind of a tick!

Meera @ firstsense said...

Last day of winter? I would love to think that, but it's 2°C up here and the gritter lorry has been around! I really can't wait for some warmth in March.

Now my lovely, that clock is just beautiful!! You have such wonderful style!

Meera xx

Pam Kessler said...

Glad the kids are feeling better. The clock is gorgeous. And if you want to say Spring arrives on March 1st, go for it. said...

I do love your clock and I too wonder about all those sweet little children watching that clock over the years. That's what I love about antiques...their history. I love taking a peek into your cottage. It looks wonderful.

K&B by the Sea said...

Oooh, I LOVE your new clock! Yes, MUCH better than a fake rusty clock sticker! It's such a gorgeous piece, and you're right, it's fun to think about its history. So great that someone took the time to refurbish this beauty :-)

Hope you enjoyed your relaxing day :-)

Lila said...

Absolutely beautiful. Very busy morning for you. I was lucky just to get out of bed and off to work.

Olive said...

It is splendid Sarah and that is is from London all the better. ♥O

On Crooked Creek said...

Adore your school house clock! Beautiful!
Thanks for your sweet comment and visit. Stop by again, soon!

Tricia said...

Oboe practice? That's the first I've heard you mention that :)

Your clock looks wonderful Sarah...perfectly placed above your fireplace. I love that it has a story behind it too :)

Elaine said...

Great clock. It's a real beauty. I am a little clock obsessed. Hsve far too many for the number of rooms I have.

Glad the kids are better!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, that clock is a beauty. I love the history or possible history behind pieces. Glad things are warming up for you, and the chicken pox are gone.

Lisa x

DEBBIE said...

First time visiting your lovely blog... and I love it here!
Can`t wait to be back for more GORGEOUSNESS!


Jaimie said...

Hi Sarah!! Thanks for visiting my blog! That clock is absolutely gorgeous! I love it!

Unknown said...

Hi Sarah...I do love reading your posts and love all the piccis too. I LOVE the clock and I've been asking my dad for the old clock we used to have as I grew up...very like yours, if I remember rightly. They haven't found a place for it in their home, (much too many bits and bobs...lovely, but not enough space there,) so I knew I could find a home for it. I think I have to wait some more as my dad is trying to mend the old workings on it. (I'll have to tell him I'll be happy to put new workings in, if he can't get the bits for it.) Anyway, good to hear the children are all back to full health again and you have some time back :) love Babs x

WobiSobi said...

I can't believe I missed this post. I adore Old clock's WEll kind of clock, I think i might have a slight clock obsession. Anyway this clock is so lovely. I bet a lot of precious children looked at it excited bout the end of the school day. Lovely post as always Sarah..

michelle said...

I am so glad that you had some moments for yourself, you have been a busy girl! I love the clock, I can see why it is your favorite. Thank you for chatting with us as always my dear, I love to hear from you!
Big wonky huhs to you!


Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Hi Gorgeous, love love love the clock. Was most interested to hear that the innards can be removed and replaced with a more efficient mechanism. I've got two vintage clocks - one doesn't work at all and the other is a terrible time keeper. I must find out if they can be restored to their former glory in that way. Yay!

Hope you had a lovely day, and how wonderful that you play the oboe - you multi-talented person you!

Unknown said...

Oooh aren't you getting comfy with your camera! Lovely images and wonderful to have a piece of history. That is something that just can't be replicated by a printed bit of cardboard (pfft!).

Oh I do love me a good potter, sounds like a lovely morning! Glad to hear the litt'ns are feeing much better and you've gotten a bit of a break ;)

PS I have to agree with hubby. Me & W have this argument all the time but I go by the solstice (which falls on 21st Mar, so technically still winter) and he goes by how much sun we've got! lol ;)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Your clock is beautiful and I love thinking about the possible history behind it.
So happy to hear your little ones are feeling better and you have a bit of time to yourself. Did you say obeo practice?
Have a glorious day.

Unknown said...

Love love love your modern country look. I too am a lover of old clocks - that one you restored is fabulous!

New England Style

Sommer said...

Oh this is great. I just moved into a new to us house a week ago and have started decorating our new family room with these elements. As much as I adore the country cottage feel I'm really loving my new dark tobacco leather sofas, some old luggage and the new surveyor lamps. I'm also ordering a gear wall art clock. Thanks for sharing!

Teacup Moments said...

Sarah, I love that clock! Like you, I find the story behind it (it's a school clock!) so interesting. I think that imbues the clock with so much character! It looks perfect on that space, too. Cheers! xo T

Renee Hand said...

I am following you from the blog hop. Please return the follow at

Kristina said...

Stopping by from 504 Main, what a beautiful clock and I too, love imagining the history behind things.

At The Picket Fence said...

Hey lovely friend! Just coming by to say thank you so much for linking up to Inspiration Friday this week! Have you had any more quiet days since this one? :-) Have a great weekend!

rebeckah@mydwellingplace said...

Love the clock and the paint color! What is it? It's just what I'm looking for!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Gorgeous clock and love your fireplace Sarah~ just beautiful!! Glad to hear you had a wonderful morning~I've been missing you!!! :) thanks for sharing at FNF! Hugs, Courtney

♥ Miss Tea said...

what a beautiful old school wall clock! love the look on your fireplace too, you have such a beautiful home, i'm your newest follower! :)

Megan Gunyan said...

Very nice, Sarah! not just the clock, but your whole post made me want to sit down and put my feet up! How do you do that? I get so happy and relaxed after reading your lovely posts. ;) Have a marvelous, kid-free day!

Holly Lefevre said...

You have a very dreamy way of describing make me want one of everything! I love this clock. My parents have a big old clock...not quite as pretty but I kind of want to steal it.

bulova clocks said...

The clock is beautiful. It fits to your beautiful home as well. Hope you had a fun time.

alia said...

Amazing Blog! Thanks for sharing, If you want to buy online personalised wall clock, then visit us.

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