Press Release: West Dean College students clock up awards in horology conservation

Students from West Dean College's renowned Conservation of Clocks programme have received national recognition for their work. On the 8th July, Tabea Rude received a prize for the best conservation-restoration project from the Southern Section of the Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) as part of the prize-giving ceremony for all West Dean programmes. The society was formed in 1953 to encourage the study of all matters relating to the art and history of time measurement.

AHS Section Chairman, Ian White, along with Peter Ponsford Jones, Richard Newton and Derek Frampton selected Tabea for her scrupulous and very detailed restoration of a Russian Poljot Marine Chronometer.

Tabea was also awarded the prestigious Chairman's Prize by Peter Benson, Chairman of the Trustees of The Edward James Foundation.

Originally from Germany, Tabea started out in watchmaking at Pforzheim University before deciding to specialise in the preservation of timepieces. Internationally renowned for its Clocks Conservation programmes for graduates and postgraduates, West Dean College attracts students from across the UK, Europe and internationally for the high level specialist training that sets them up for a career in horology, both making and conservation.

Tabea started at West Dean College in 2014. Speaking about the award, she comments: "I spent over 400 painstaking hours repairing the 1960s chronometer so was delighted to be recognised for all my hard work."

Tabea has a bright future ahead with a job lined up at The Clockworks in London when she completes her MA in September. "West Dean has given me a set of skills which is invaluable and uniquely shaped to my plans for the future. Not only have I learnt about the conservation of clocks, I have also had the opportunity to network and understand the terminology and language of the industry."

Francoise Collanges is another graduatefrom the Clocks Programme at West Dean whose work to conserve an Early Electric Master Clock has received national acclaim. She has been shortlisted in the Icon Awards for The Pilgrim Trust Student Conservator of the Year category.

Icon is the UK's leading voice for the conservation of precious cultural heritage. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 22 October 2015 at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.

To find out more about conservation and art courses at West Dean College please visit


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation which also comprises West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • West Dean College also offers over 700 creative short courses and is internationally renowned for teaching in Conservation and Creative Arts.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes or filming at West Dean should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact details

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ