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The timeless clock collection chiming with visitors from across globe

PUBLISHED: 16:07 01 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:07 01 December 2019

Antique clock and scientific instrument collector, Paul Nunn, in one of his showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Antique clock and scientific instrument collector, Paul Nunn, in one of his showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Down a country lane in deepest South Norfolk there is a hidden time zone. Every hour brings a cacophony of chimes and winding is a never-ending task.

Antique clocks and scientific instruments on display at Paul Nunn's showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAntique clocks and scientific instruments on display at Paul Nunn's showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Olde Time Antique Clocks in Wacton attracts collectors and enthusiasts from across the globe, but this hidden treasure is little known to people on its doorstep.

And what started out as a hobby has expanded into four showrooms and two workshops full of every conceivable type of antique clock from a rustic lantern clock made in the 17th century by Thomas Reeve in Harleston to Atmos clocks made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Antique clocks and scientific instruments on display at Paul Nunn's showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAntique clocks and scientific instruments on display at Paul Nunn's showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Former professional show jumper Paul Nunn said his passion of 'old clocks' goes back to his childhood and his collecting and fascination for antique horology expanded from small beginnings to today's world renowned business that he runs with his partner Tracy Wright.

He said: "Every time I won something show jumping or had a bit of spare money I would blow it in an antique shop on a clock. It's a passion that just grew and grew.

Antique clock and scientific instrument collector, Paul Nunn, with a Norwich-made turret clock by Benjamin Russell, in one of his showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAntique clock and scientific instrument collector, Paul Nunn, with a Norwich-made turret clock by Benjamin Russell, in one of his showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"We started from the house with perhaps just eight or 10 clocks and people used to come and buy the odd thing. When the horses started to take a backseat, we had time to spend more with the clocks."

Many items are lovingly restored by Mr Nunn using crafts people who are experts in everything from woodwork to ceramics.

A rare gold plated Atmos clock, with white Lucite panels decorated with gold chinoiserie scenes, self winding, precision timekeeping, and signed Jaeger-Le-Coultre. Dated around 1970. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA rare gold plated Atmos clock, with white Lucite panels decorated with gold chinoiserie scenes, self winding, precision timekeeping, and signed Jaeger-Le-Coultre. Dated around 1970. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: "I was always fascinated by how things work and taking things apart, so I do love restoring things and returning them to their former glory. We are very lucky in Norfolk and Suffolk because there is a network of very good crafts people."

The business now sells all over the world and also includes antique scientific instruments, like barometers, thodelites, sextants, ship compasses and telescopes, and other clockwork items like music boxes.

A congreve rolling ball clock, using a rolling ball rather than a pendulum to regulate time. Dated around 1973. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA congreve rolling ball clock, using a rolling ball rather than a pendulum to regulate time. Dated around 1973. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"People come from all over the country to see us and we have had people from New Zealand and China," he adds.

Mr Nunn's dream clock would be by renowned maker Thomas Tompion but that they "tend to start at £300,000 upwards into the millions".

A French porcelain mantel clock with patinated branches and finely worked flowers, dated around 1870. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA French porcelain mantel clock with patinated branches and finely worked flowers, dated around 1870. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And what about all that winding? "When we have an open weekend we get everything going so it takes us literally two whole days," he laughs. "Everyone who comes says it's a cacophony of noise!"

- Visit Olde Time Antique Clocks to find out more about the collection, open days or to request a visit.

Inside the door of an 18th century style Tavern clock is the timetable of the stagecoach and where they change horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYInside the door of an 18th century style Tavern clock is the timetable of the stagecoach and where they change horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A walnut cuckoo clock by Johann Baptist Beha, dated around 1840. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA walnut cuckoo clock by Johann Baptist Beha, dated around 1840. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

French tortoiseshell Boulle clock with ornate gilding, dated around 1720 to 1744. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFrench tortoiseshell Boulle clock with ornate gilding, dated around 1720 to 1744. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Antique clock and scientific instrument collector, Paul Nunn, in one of his showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAntique clock and scientific instrument collector, Paul Nunn, in one of his showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

An 18th century style Tavern clock, with The Crown, Framlingham on the dial. Inside the door is the timetable of the stagecoach and where they change horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAn 18th century style Tavern clock, with The Crown, Framlingham on the dial. Inside the door is the timetable of the stagecoach and where they change horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Restoration work still in progress on this Norwich-made turret clock by Benjamin Russell, in one of the Olde Time showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRestoration work still in progress on this Norwich-made turret clock by Benjamin Russell, in one of the Olde Time showrooms at Wacton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A ship's binnacle compass, dated around 1900. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA ship's binnacle compass, dated around 1900. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A replica of John Harrison's Grasshopper sea clock. John Harrison designed a marine clock to aid the calculation of longitude at sea. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA replica of John Harrison's Grasshopper sea clock. John Harrison designed a marine clock to aid the calculation of longitude at sea. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A walnut cuckoo clock by Johann Baptist Beha, dated around 1840. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA walnut cuckoo clock by Johann Baptist Beha, dated around 1840. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY



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