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(My) Holy Grail of Pocket Watches "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Hi All,

Just letting you know some incredible News about something I never really expected to happen in my lifetime!

With the Wonderful generousity and help of our own IHC member Tom Brown, I now have a Sterling Silver cased Fusee English Lever pocket Watch made by William WOOLSEY of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire UK.

Heck, I just can't put the watch down, it'll be worn out before I've even got it going again!

I've known about William Woolsey for some years, but have never seen any watches made by him, and being a provincial maker with probably a low volume of manufacture, never really expected to find one even though I live within an easy drive of the town.
With Gainsborough being at the opposite end of Lincolnshire to where my Dad's folks are too, I never really connected him to my folks either.

Imagine my total surprise bordering on bewilderment when Tom mailed me to say he'd turned up such a watch on eBay!
The key is fabulous too!
How Tom managed to suppress the temptation to keep it I've no idea!

Just to add to my amazement, a new cousin I found a few months back (same paternal Gt Grandfather), confirmed that William Woolsey is one of our ancestors, and that our family came from Gainsborough.
Even more stunning; with no knowledge of family or any other connections whatever to Gainsborough at the time, we interred Dad's ashes in a cemetery there in 2000!
The Family historians amongst you will probably understand this last twist better perhaps!
Talk about 'Full Circle'

I'm on dial-up at the moment, so it's virtually impossible to load photo's onto the site, so I'm temporarily posting a link to some that Tom put into a photobucket album for me.
Hope you don't mind Tom!

http://s15.photobucket.com/alb...ail_album_view_click

Hope you like it, restoration photo's to follow, definitely my 'Carry Watch', even have a Sterling Silver Albert for it!

Looks like I may have to stop procrastinating about kicking off a Watch and Clock restoration business and get on with it to carry on the family tradition! Cool

Many Thanks again for all your efforts and kindness Tom, Definitely one of IHC's 'Good Guys'!

Best regards

John
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Hi John,
That is an incredible story and a beautiful watch! Thanks to Tom for putting you on to it. Beside getting a Woolsey watch, you found out that he is your ancestor! Wow! I think there is some karma going on here. Just too many co-incidences! I am so very happy for you! Big Grin
 
Posts: 1047 | Location: The Colony, Texas in the USA | Registered: December 20, 2008
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
John

I was more than happy to be able to get it for you, after waiting for the seller to ship it to me & then repackaging & shipping to you in France I was afraid it was going to get lost some where down the line, so happy it made it to you.

I was very tempted to keep it but I didn't think I could get away with changing my name to Woolsey.

Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Great story, John, and a great act of camaraderie Tom....only here at IHC185 will you find such benevolence....

Well done....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
John emailed me & asked me to post the photos I took for him prior to shipping the watch to him.

Tom

front
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Back of case.

back
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
The case marks

marks
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Inner cover

dust
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Dust cover

cover
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
The movement

move
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Closeup of John's watchmaker ancestor signature

woolsey
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
posted
A wonderful story, a gem of a watch, and a heluva gesture on Tom's part!

Anybody have a rough idea of the date?
 
Posts: 2962 | Location: Western New York in the USA | Registered: March 24, 2008
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
I had done a little research for John on William, it looks like he was born in 1838 in Gainsboro.

Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
Picture of Ernie Loga
posted
Great Story and very nice watch. Congratulations Tom and being able to bring a piece of family history home with the help of Tom.

Tom, Good Job! You get an "Ataboy!"
 
Posts: 900 | Location: Wisconsin in the U.S.A. | Registered: April 28, 2008
posted
Tom, You are a kind and generous gentleman. You have made a friend for life and earned the respect of we who collect these marvelous watches. I salute you sir, well done!
Respectfully
BJ


BJ Williamson
 
Posts: 45 | Location: Winona, Mississippi in the USA | Registered: December 31, 2007
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Thank you all, I was glad to help John out, when I ran across the auction for the watch & told John about it we realized the seller would not ship outside the US, so we decided I would try to win the watch & John of course would reimburse me. I am such a big fan of history that I was more than happy to try to get this watch to John.

Right after I joined IHC185 John went out of his way to help with English watches & he has sent me parts for free & I in turn have sent him some parts for American watches. Like all the others I have met here we just seemed to hit it off & I always enjoy reading John's posts.

I am sure the other members here would do the same for each other.

Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
Site Administrator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Phillip Sanchez
posted
Tom, You are a prince among men. Smile
 
Posts: 4975 | Location: North Georgia Mountains in the U.S.A. | Registered: March 31, 2006
posted
Tom 'chapeau' well done !

John

It took a long way and a very long time for this watch to get you ! Congratulations !
A very nice watch and a great story !

I like the 'ole style' roman numerals.

Regards,
Gerald
 
Posts: 742 | Location: Wertheim in Germany | Registered: February 21, 2009
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted

What a wonderful story!

I often look at such a watch and wonder if there might be a family member who would appreciate owning it... now we all know that is indeed possible. This story illustrates the sense of "family" within IHC185 which is truly a beautiful thing. Many of us will never meet in person, but a family, brothers and sisters in our love of horology and mutual respect for each other we truly are.

Be well my friends,

Lindell

Wink
 
Posts: 10552 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC Life Member
posted
Great Story!!
 
Posts: 1078 | Location: Ticonderoga, New York USA | Registered: March 01, 2008
posted
Many thanks Everyone for your kind comments, very much appreciated.

Must confess, I'm now becoming a Woolsey watch bore, and will regale friends with it mercilessly at the slightest excuse.
Certainly a superb conversation piece!

Think you hit the nail on the head with the 'Karma' comment Mary Ann, many of our friends have made pretty much the same comment.
I've had so many bizarre and inexplicable happenings during my family history research over the years, it's gone way beyond Spooky!.

Tom, if you had decided to change your name to 'Woolsey' to keep the watch, I'd have been proud to have you as a 'relative' Wink ........ Heck I'd even have forgiven you keeping it as long as I could have played with it now and again! Big Grin
What you did was definitely an act of kindness way above and beyond the call ............ Could Only happen on IHC 185, ............ and why I remain here!

Best regards all

John
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
posted
Everyone .. a further short update on the watch!

I recently contacted the eBay seller to send him a note of thanks for making it available, together with a brief outline of my connections with it and it's journey to me via Tom, this was his reply:

"That is the coolest story ever! I am certainly glad the watch found a good home, let alone found it's way back into the hands of a descendant of the man who made it! You totally just made my day and I am so glad you dropped me a note telling me this story! Enjoy the watch and I am glad to hear that it is going to be restored!"

What a great reply!

Best regards

John
 
Posts: 1282 | Location: Northern England, United Kingdom | Registered: January 07, 2006
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