The voice of British Horology

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Open days

A timeless collection

Our open days take place in Spring, Summer and Autumn, and form the rare occasions in the year when Upton Hall and its timeless collection of clocks, watches and other timepieces can welcome you with open arms.

2015061420150614-_DSC8052 BHI Summer Show James studies closely at Smith of Derby #2

Saturday 18 June 2016 – 10 am to 4 pm

BHI Summer Show

Summer Show celebrates 80th birthday Speaking Clock

The 2016 Summer at Upton Hall on 18 and 19 June celebrates the 80th birthday of the Speaking Clock.

It was in the summer of 1936 that callers in the United Kingdom who dialled the phone number of the new Post Office Speaking Clock first heard the golden voice of Ethel Cain. In its opening year the service logged 13 million calls – over 35,000 a day – in later years this figure rose to an annual total of 100 million calls.

Over time the voice of the clock and the way in which it was recorded changed, but BHI Chairman Ray Walford says: “Visitors to our Summer Show will be able to hear Ethel again and marvel at this wonder of horological technology. That is really the essence of the Show – it is a rare chance for the public to view our collection and it is fun for the whole family.”

From 17th century clocks to modern miracles of innovation

Speaking Clocks No 1 and No 2 are part of the collection that is on show, next to numerous items such as clocks from the 17th century and modern miracles of innovation. The many highlights include the watch Captain Scott carried on his fateful mission to the South Pole and a fully operational water clock.

The Summer Show takes place in the magnificent Grade 2* listed Upton Hall, which is surrounded by open gardens and grounds. Inside there are activities for the whole family, from a Teddy Bear hunt and colouring clock faces to professional hands-on watch and clock workshop demonstrations.

Bring your clock or watch for an assessment

In addition, visitors can admire the short-listed images of the photo competition The Passage of Time, an exhibition on Big Ben, a display by Smith of Derby on church and tower clocks, and they can bring their own clock or watch for an assessment by experts.

The Clock House Café will serve homemade delights in the Ballroom of Upton Hall.

Admission (payable on the door): £5.00 per person (BHI members £3.00); children under 16 free

Free parking

Read more about the Speaking Clocks

Sunday 19 June 2016 – 10 am to 4 pm

BHI Summer Show

As above, including the BHI raffle draw at 4 pm.


How to make, repair, restore and service clocks, watches and other timepieces

We have a new education and training prospectus.

Find out more information