How it all began ...

A glimpse into how it all began, plus Clockwise’s very first collectables expo. They participated in local antiques fair up until 2017.

Expo display led to a new career – a timely hobby

by Brian Bassono, The Examiner, 9 June 1993.

Mr Graham Mulligan should be easy to find at the Collectables Expo this weekend.

Just follow the ticking sound.

Mr Mulligan, of Punchbowl in Launceston, collects and will be displaying most of the 25 specimens he has gathered over the past seven years.

He concentrates on clocks made before 1920 and has one dating back to 1860.

The pride and joy of his collection is a German bracket clock made around 1890.

“They just don’t make clocks like that anymore,” he said. “We are living in a throw-away generation, where most things are not made to last.”

He is one of those lucky people who is able to combine business and pleasure, and he has the WAY-FM Collectables Expo of last year to thank for it.

“When I started collecting, I also began repairing and restoring clocks and watches for other people in my spare time,” he said.

“A year or so ago, the company I was working for as a security van driver closed down, and I was faced with trying to find another job. The number of inquiries I had received last year when exhibiting at the Collectables Expo encouraged me to start up my own business repairing and restoring old clocks and watches. I gained aid under the NEIS scheme and I am happy with the way it is going,” he said.

His experience at ACL Bearings, where he worked as a machinist for 11 years has helped with his clock repairing.

“Often replacement parts are not available for very old clocks and I have to make my own,” he said.

Among his repair jobs have been several for the National Trust, involving historic clocks at Trust properties.

Since starting his business, Mr Mulligan has restored more than 100 clocks and watches.

“Most jewellers nowadays are not prepared to work on the older type of timepieces,” he said. “It’s very time consuming and the parts are hard to obtain.”

At present he is making a machine which will turn out gear wheels far quicker than he can produce on his lathe.

“I would love to make clocks for sale, but the time taken for each one would make the finished product too expensive,” he said.

The Collectables Expo, which is organised by WAY-FM, will feature a wide variety of displays of interest to all members of the family.

It will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 9:30pm, and on Monday from 10am to 4pm in the Silverdome.