INTRO. CHRONICLES. SOCIETIES. PARISH. VILLAGE. CHURCH. PEOPLE.

A History of YALDING, Kent, England

 

This clock has the name of French Yalding, across the centre of the face.

 

Maidstone Museum contains a silver cased verge watch of "Isaac Chittenden, Yalding".

It is numbered 25692 and hallmarked 1806. Also by him a 30-hour painted dial movement has been recorded.

There is also in the museum an ornamental watchpaper, that was placed in the outer cases when watches were repaired or cleaned, named "French, Watch and Clock maker, Yalding, Kent".

 

Phoebe’s son John continued the trade, and married Ann English, a local girl, on 25th Nov 1834, and had six children between 1836 and 1846, their own son John, baptised here on May 19th 1846.

The main horology period of Phoebe’s son John was between 1832 and 1853, and he was buried here on 12th Oct 1857 aged 60.

 

William Edgar Palmer was born in South Lambeth on 13 April 1864. Unlike many other electric clock makers of that time he had a horological background. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all clock and watchmakers in the Worcester area and it is likely that William Edgar learned his trade from his father, Henry Phillips Palmer who had by then moved to Leominster. Henry Phillips Palmer, was a gifted horologist who had shared the Baroness Burdett-Coutts prize of fifty guineas, which the British Horological Institute awarded in 1872 for his essay on the balance spring and its isochronal adjustment. He had also written a pamphlet on the best method of setting in beat the cylinder escapement and he had ingeniously fitted a chronometer escapement to a verge watch. The young William Palmer must therefore have grown up in a stimulating atmosphere and he inherited his father's inventiveness.

He had followed in the family trade, but very little is known of William Palmer's life until 1902 when he took out his patent for improvements relating to electric clocks.'

This photograph shows him shortly afterwards, at the time of his marriage in 1904 to Millicent Elizabeth Brett. He was then living in Tonbridge, Kent, and working as a watchmaker for the South Eastern & Chatham Railway, a position he occupied without interruption until he reached retiring age in 1929. His job was to repair and keep in good working order the watches used by the railway staff and for this purpose he had a workshop on Tonbridge station with the help of a couple of assistants. It is tempting to speculate that Palmer might have been inspired by the Shepherd electric clock which was installed at Tonbridge station in 1852, but it seems unlikely that the clock was still there in Palmer’s time.

With competition increasing from other clock manufacturers, he closed his premises at Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge, and in 1916 opened a clock and watch repair shop at Gable Roof in our own High Street.

With competition increasing from other clock manufacturers, he closed his premises at Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge, and in 1916 opened a clock and watch repair shop at Gable Roof in our own High Street. Whilst in the village here he acted as lay-minister at the Baptist Chapel along Vicarage Road, until he died in 1951 at the age of 87, and was buried here on the 26th of October. His mother Caroline Scott Palmer, spent her last years at Gable Roof and was also buried here on 26 January 1938, at the age of 94.                   Back.                                                                                                                                            Next.