Whangarei’s world-famous clock museum is home to over 1600 clocks and timepieces, making it the largest collection of clocks in the Southern Hemisphere.
Many Whangarei locals recall with fondness and a chuckle, the inventor, entertainer and practical joker who was Archibald Clapham – or Archie, as he was more commonly known. Archie’s personal collection of around 400 clocks once took up most of his family home. Yorkshire-born Archie, who moved to New Zealand in 1903, was well-known for happily opening his doors to those who wanted to come and see his collection.
Known for his quirky character and sense of humour, Archie’s favourite clocks were the ones that did something unexpected, and made people laugh. Archie’s fun-loving spirit still remains with his unique collection today, at the purpose-built Claphams National Clock Museum in Whangarei’s Town Basin.
In 1961, Archie sold his clocks to the local Council for a nominal sum, effectively gifting his amazing collection to the community he had adopted. The collection has grown to encompass many rare and notable exhibits, which you can now enjoy alongside Archie’s old favourites.
From mind-boggling backwards clocks, to antique French dancing girl clocks, and even clocks that make the tea – there’s something to amuse every curious and carefree mind at Claphams Clock Museum.