I admit, I know nothing about clocks. But the good people of Whangarei are very proud of their local, Archibald Clapham, who decorated his house with hundreds of clocks. He was quirky and obviously a fun guy, and there are some amazing clocks left over from the gilded age when the emerging leisure class could delight themselves with overdecorated moving toys that could double as a 'clock'. The collection is impressive - but what is lacking is a little more research into where, why and what the clocks were made for. For example, when did the idea of the cuckoo clock arise? Why did Grandfather clocks go out of style? When did the "kitchen clock" come into being? Some of the notes with corresponding numbers provide a bit of insight - but some of the numbers have fallen away (one is lying on top of an electrical outlet - clearly long since fallen down), and others are just hard to find. As I was wrapping up my viewing the lovely woman at reception did come through and demonstrated how some of Archbald's more quirky clocks performed. But this would have been missed should I have decided to leave 5 minutes early. Not sure why they just don't have the exhibit on a timer. In any event, it's still an unexpected attraction as you are heading up North.
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