Young Midhurst clockmaker proves dreams can come true

The Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley and Jacob Russell at the achievement award ceremony
The Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley and Jacob Russell at the achievement award ceremony

Jacob Russell is a young man who knows how to use his time.

Although he left school at 16 years old with one GCSE in ICT, he has proved with hard work and a belief in yourself, you can make your dreams come true.

After carrying out his five-year training with Midhurst clockmakers and jewellers J E Allnutt, he was the youngest Fellow of the British Horological Institute (FBHI) in the country when he graduated at just 21 years old last year.

At the same time as his FBHI training he also took part in a Livery Companies apprenticeship scheme for watchmaking funded by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.

Now, following the competition of this three-year apprenticeship, he has been presented with a certificate of distinction by the Lord Mayor of London, the Rt Hon Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley.

Fully qualified, he has taken his place with the team of experienced watch and clock makers at J E Allnutt & Son.

Jacob’s interest in horology started at an early age when his grandfather, who was passionate about watches, encouraged him: “He inspired me to collect timepieces and I began to dismantle and try to reassemble them,” said Jacob.

While still at Bishop Luffa School in Chichester and in the holidays, he worked with the senior tutor in horology at West Dean College, Matthew Read, who also encouraged him.

Being too young to apply to the British School of Watchmaking in Manchester, he left school at 16, and studied engineering at Chichester College: “But I realised watchmaking was my ultimate goal so I plucked up the courage and approached Geoff Allnutt.”

Geoff was impressed by his commitment and potential and offered him a five-year apprenticeship and he has now been asked to join the Watchmaker’s Apprenticeship and Training School Forum, which is setting up a training programme.

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