The British Horological Institute or BHI, is often referred to as the “Voice of British Horology”. The BHI, based at the imposing Upton Hall (see above photo), in the heart of Nottinghamshire, is first and foremost a national membership organisation and exists to represent the views and interests of all of Britain’s horologists.

First established in 1858, they still fulfil the original functions for which they were established. They set national standards of horological practice and provide training and education for current and future generations of horologists. But they do far more, as we found out when we met Robert Loomes FBHI, current Vice-Chairman of the organisation.

Students working hard in watch workshop
Students working hard in watch workshop

We asked him about his role as Vice-Chairman and what that specifically entails. We also wanted to find out how the Heritage Lottery Funded, Saving Time project was progressing. The eventual outcome will be the creation of a National Centre for Horology at Upton Hall.

We then asked him to give us his thoughts and views of what the future looks like for the BHI. He explained that the realisation of the Masterplan will eventually see the refurbishment of Upton Hall – a Grade II* listed building, with the priority remaining very much in training and education.

Speaking Clock No.1 on display at Upon Hall

This is to address the UK wide shortage of horologists by creating new training and workshop facilities, allowing the BHI to double the number of students it trains over the coming years. The facilities, created during Saving Time, include new clock and watch workshop spaces in a former stable block and glasshouse adjacent to Upton Hall.

Student in watch workshop

The BHI acts as a professional body for Britain’s clock and watchmakers and also act as a quasi-trade association. All they require from a prospective member is a shared interest in ‘the art, craft and science of horology’.

Stella Haward MBHI, Chairman
Stella Haward MBHI, Chairman

For more information about joining please visit the BHI website


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