Richard Walker is holding an exhibition of Metamec Clocks at Dereham Library from January 9-26, marking 30 years since the town’s factory ceased clock production.
Mr Walker worked for Metamec as a service technician, which made domestic clocks at a factory in Dereham between 1969 to 1994, during which time he was made redundant three times. The 78-year-old said: “This is the first time I have ever done something like this, I have run a private museum with my collection, but this is the first time I have opened something like this to the public. “I am a bit nervous but I know what I will be talking about.”
Mr Walker will have around 24 clocks and photos of the factory and the staff and he will be at the library on January 9,11, 12, 16,18,19, 23, 25, and 26.
Metamec’s first clock was a mains-powered mantle clock numbered ‘701’ and was released in 1947, and the name Metamec is a combination of metal-work and mechanics. It started as an offshoot of the furniture manufacturer Jentique in 1941, which made boxes for instruments and bombs during World War II. The company grew during the years, increasing its factory in the 1960s and 70s, employing 750 people and producing 350 models of clock, at a rate of 25,000 a week – even becoming the largest clock manufacturer in the UK at the time.
The company declined in the 1980s due to the advancement of the German clock industry and imports from the Far East. Metamec went into receivership in December 1984 and was purchased in January 1985 by FKI of Halifax, who continued to use the name until 1993. The Metamec site in Dereham was run by Ross Consumer Electronics (RCE) until its closure in 1994.
(Source: Dereham Times)