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Chris Robinson, aged 54, has loved clocks all his life and following three years study at the Birmingham School of Jewellery recently came top in the country in the British Horological Institute final examinations.

His award is one of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarships, which are designed to advance education in modern and traditional crafts and trades in the United Kingdom and are open to men and women of all ages. Scholarships are awarded twice a year and this autumn five awards have been made totalling £33,750.

Chris Robinson was a statistician working on computer-based information systems for local government before giving up work to enrol on the Horology course at Birmingham School of Jewellery. He graduated this summer and his scholarship now enables him to attend the Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation and Restoration of Antique Clocks at West Dean College in Sussex. The course is unique and this year only five students have been selected for places.

Chris comments, “The course at West Dean College is generally recognised as the most valuable training opportunity available in Britain for studying and working on antique clocks. It is difficult to be taken seriously in the world of antique clock restoration without a qualification from the college.”

Once Chris has completed his course, he plans to start his own business restoring and repairing antique clocks.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, was set up in 1990 with money contributed by its members, to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Association. Between 1991 and 2002 the Trust has made cash awards totalling almost £700,000 to 103 craftsmen and women aged between 17 and 50 plus to develop their skills.

The Trustees look for well thought out projects which will contribute to the pool of talent in the UK and reflect the excellence of British craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment.

Application forms for spring 2003 Scholarships (closing date 17 January 2003) may be obtained by sending an SAE (33p) to: The Secretary, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, 1 Buckingham Place, London SW1E 6HR.