Troubador For Such a Time as This

Released: 28/03/2021

ISBN: 9781800461628

Format: Paperback

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For Such a Time as This


It all began in 1966, in London when a young woman called Dorothy was fascinated by an unusual clock and soon captivated by its maker, Geoffrey Buggins. Spinning a tale of enduring love amidst the rich history of clock-making at his renowned family firm, Thwaites & Reed, Dorothy Buggins presents For Such a Time as This, a personal journey through life with her husband and iconic clocks like Big Ben.

Following their first meeting and stories of famous clocks at home and around the world, we’re immersed in Dorothy’s world, later moving with Geoffrey and their nine dogs and parrot, to a completely different life in Portugal to explore the vibrant and colourful, amidst vineyards, dance, flowers and the pulsating drama and exciting pageant of Portuguese bullfighting.

As the pages turn, ill-health triggers a return to England and their final move in the peaceful shelter of an ancient clock made by John Thwaites, famous son of the founder of their once owned family business. And as midnight heralds a new day, one morning in November 2014, the minute hand stops and the couple are parted forever, but time relentlessly marches on. 

In full transparency ... Yes, I know Dolly (Dorothy). Yes, I get a mention in the book, but...

This booklet (111 pages) is a swift and uplifting read of love, clocks, and travel. When Dolly told me she was writing such a book a few years back, to be honest, I was a bit apprehensive. A first book at this time? However, it is beautifully paced and appropriately light where a more strongly themed or plotted book wouldn't work. Dolly succeeds in delivering what the reader wants to know with a great sense of underlying humour and modesty. There is no unnecessary detail, but the many details are exquisite.

As a Liveryman (sic) of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, Dolly tells the history of Thwaites & Reed clockmakers, touching on the explosion in 1976 of the clock next to Big Ben in the Clock Tower of Westminster, Fortnum & Mason's unforgettable clock, and the up's and down's of a rapidly changing trade in the last half of the 20th century. In her role as a Liveryman, and given that Thwaites & Reed was a 'City' firm, she weaves in much of the history and tradition of the City of London. Along the way, we touch on her deep love of dancing, with a small detour to bull-fighting (yes).

Dolly points out that there is "no escape from the all-constricting stranglehold [time] exerts on everything, inert or living", but leaves the reader with the feeling that it's worth the ride. If this is Buggins Turn (read the book), I'm looking forward to the next one I just heard is on the way.

by Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli

What do Winston Churchill, The Financial Times, Big Ben, the Life Guards and a footman of Queen Anne all have in common? To find out the answer you will have to read Liveryman Dolly Buggins’ new book: For Such a Time as This.

The book is about Dorothy's life with “the unassuming, talented man who was my treasured husband and closest friend.” He was, of course, Geoffrey Buggins MBE, of the ancient family clockmaking world of Thwaites & Reed.

City of London Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli describes the book as an "uplifting read of love, clocks, and travel... it is beautifully paced and appropriately light ..there is no unnecessary detail, but the many details are exquisite".

Love, travel and clocks - what more could you want?

by The Clockmaker May 2021

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