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    Bridgend the town by the river 

Victorian Clock

Mason Williams - Clock

This Grand Victorian Clock that hangs above  Zia Nina  was erected by  Mr L Beha at the end of the 19th century, above his jewellers shop in Dunraven Place which became known as  'The shop under the clock.'  Mr L Beha and Co were  watch makers,  jewellers and silversmiths which opened Circa: 1880 at  28, Dunraven place, Bridgend and also 12a, Station road, Port Talbot, the shop also doubled as an early days opticians, testing eyesight and adjusting glasses. It is also reported to have been the first shop in the Bridgend area to have sold the new gramophone. 'The most powerful talking machine for its time' The clock above the shop is still working accurately today April 2015 but algae is covering the face.

Upon the death of the late Mr L Beha in 1899 and B Beha in 1914 the established English business partner of 34 years,  Mr Edmond M Needham  took over and exclusively carried on the business until 1957,  when Mason Williams & Co.  Limited was set up on  31 Jan 1957  and had its registered office at 28 Dunraven Place, Bridgend, Glamorgan, United Kingdom. Mason Williams & Co. who's Limited Company Number was 00577862.

Pre 1921 photo with the name L Beha on the clock

It was some time after 1957
that the Victorian clock had the name Mason Williams added to the face, as you can see from the picture below that although the Mason Williams name is above the door, the clock face is clear at this time.

So the clock gives us a history of the shops owners,
 but what of the origin of the clock itself.

The clock would appear to have been supplied by J.Smith & Sons, of Clerkenwell, London, around 1890 and a catalogue of 1880 to 1910 shows the clock and Victorian ornamental bracket in detail. It would appear that the likely cost was £60/68 ex works. J Smith & Sons made all types of clock from 1780 until 1938.

Projecting Two Face Drum with Turret.
It has a 3ft improved illuminated dial with a glazed opal glass background and figures of copper that don't throw a shadow, with iron ornamental brackets.

The Victorian clock is currently fitted with a self-start, synchronous, electric, movement, with an Inverter Charger System to carry it through power failures.  This was installed by Smith of Derby who,
have serviced the clock for many years.

Smith of Derby Groupís portfolio of clockmakers includes five of the most iconic and reputable names in British horology.   They are; John Smith & Sons 1856, James Ritchie & Son, 1809,  William Potts & Sons, 1833,   J B Joyce & Co, 1690, and  G&F Cope & Co, 1845. Collectively, these prominent clockmakers form what is now   Smith of Derby Group.  This stable of clockmakers treasure time by creating, servicing, preserving, and restoring some of the greatest public clocks in the  UK  and around the world.   As the  UKís  leading clock repairers, restorers and conservation specialists, they are proud to have been serving the horological community for over 150 years.

My thanks to Nicholas Smith for his help in the research.

As a matter of fact as late as 1708 in "The New View of London,"  it is mentioned as a remarkable circumstance concerning Prescot Street, that instead of signs the houses were distinguished by numbers.
Elmbank Towy Villa

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42 Dunraven Place, Bridgend
Contact: Mike 07840 287 383
web site here

Bridgend Sandwich Bar.
Est: 1940

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Bridgend History

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