Every now and then I get a commission to retouch or completely restore a clock dial. Now I quite enjoy the challenge of mixing paint colours to create a seamless and almost invisible repair or doing fiddly, twiddly bits with fine brushes, but when it comes to a full face job I tend to panic and end up procrastinating like crazy! Here is one such "tucked-in-a-corner queen" that has been haunting me for far too long. As I am temporarily minus my motor car (with a dodgy clutch) and found myself unable to attend Love Lane this week, it seemed a pretty good idea to pull the proverbial digit and problem out - and get on with it? A trawl on the net seems to reveal that "Joyce" of Whitchurch clocks, including many of those supplied to the LMS suffer from a fairly common sub standard substrate: The face base paint coat flakes off, leaving the bare steel to busily corrode! Although at first glance this poor old specimen doesn't look too bad, closer inspection reveals that it has been patched (in places very crudely) so many times that there is sadly no alternative to a complete strip down and repaint! Trouble is, to my mind at least, the dial is one of the most visually important part of the machine's history. Indeed, I am always a bit suspicious when viewing fully restored clocks, there being no way of telling whether lettering, layout or other embellishments are in any way authentic whatsoever! It is so much better to repair, unless it ends up in a mess like the above pic! Admitting that no one else will know, I like to ensure that the replica is as true to the original as practically possible. Using the fixing screw holes, I attached a piece of scrap wood behind the dial to provide the compass centre point. I could then carefully trace out all the detail. Incidentally, this revealed that the minute ring and numerals where slightly distorted out of true between two and six! Just to make absolutely sure that there were no earlier markings hiding below the more obvious legends I gave the face a steady rubbing down with a fine abrasive. Only when completely satisfied that this was all there was, it was time to break out the stripper! Gulp...! Oh well, 'tis done now...! A pretty planetary appearance eh?! You can now see just how much rust was quietly munching away hidden underneath the old paint, threatening to burst out later and ruin any restoration work! Trust me, all those deep scratches and gouges are nothing to do with me...! While the cutting back of the brass studs was rather enthusiastically over done so many years ago, all the rest are likewise part of the manufacturer's surface prep. You might also note in the last two pictures that there is a diagonal line from the top right to the bottom left edge screw holes through the centre for alignment. Whatever straight edge was used for scribing, it was anything but straight... ...Which probably explains why the minute ring is "orf" at the bottom right, right...?...! Pete.