dedicated to preserving Coventrys watchmaking heritage has launched an appeal to
help give their museum a permanent home.
TEMPORARY WATCH MUSEUM IN THE LOWER PRECINCT [1 May 1999]
The Coventry Watchmakers Project had a display in an empty shop in the Lower Precinct
in the city centre.
But the volunteers and their collection of exhibits had to move out as re-development
work in the area was beginning.
Members of the group have now found a suitable property to buy and give the museum a
They want to purchase a traditional watchmakers house in Spon End and restore it
to how it would have looked at the peak of Coventrys watch-making success.
And they have used this weekends Godiva Festival to launch a £35,000 appeal to
get the money.
Project member Peter Naul said:
"There is enough space next to this property to build an extra wing for the
museum. At first we would put the museum in a temporary structure like a portacabin.
"We would like to restore this house. There arent many examples of a
traditional watchmakers cottage left for people to see.
"The museum would show watches and the tools that made the watches."
The main way the group hope to raise money is by selling copies of a video and book
chronicling the watchmaking industry in Coventry.
Mr Naul said:
"£35,000 isnt that much money if you consider the amount that is being
spent on things in the city centre, like demolishing the Hippodrome and replacing it with
a clock that wont be of any use to anybody."
The video is available in formats suitable to both Britain and America. Details are
available from Mr Naul by writing to:
The Secretary, Coventry Watch Museum Project Limited
PO Box 1714, Coventry CV3 6ZS
or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The project started 12 years ago as the Craven Street Watch Project, and met in the old
Post Office in Craven Street in Chapelfields.
The district was the heart of the watchmaking industry as it rose in the 1800s, peaked
around 1850, and all but died out at the turn of the last century.
Many of the terraced houses in the streets around Craven Street a conservation
area still have the "top-shops".
These were at the top of a house and had huge windows so the watchmaker could ply his
The Watch Museum Project has developed since its inception, and has now become both a
company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.