Hi Nick, the course is very good but I think there is a lot of unnecessary stuff in it, some of the terminology is very antiquated and there were quite a few words I had to look up as I had never come across them before! Its not just about clocks (if that is the direction you are heading in) but covers a lot of watch work too. each section will cover a subject then at the end you will have questions on horology, geometry and maths, at least one technical drawing to do and a piece of practical work.
Joining the BHI is not a bad thing as you get the monthly journal which has some very interesting and useful articles, it is currently £92 a year. You also get to hear about the branch auctions where tools wise you can pick up some real bargains. I have heard that they have re-done parts of the course now to bring it more up to date, If my memory serves me correctly the course I am doing was written in the 1950’s by someone who had swallowed a dictionary of “out of everday use” words
I paid extra to have my work marked and sent back to me but there seems to be some sort of problem with marking the technical drawings, I had to wait 8 months for the one before last to come back and my current effort has been in their hands for around 6 months
If you want a qualification in horology this is your only choice apart from two colleges in the country that run a course. Its getting pretty dire here now trying to get into horology but if you are determined and love it you will find a way!
One final piece of advice is hunt out people in your area who do clock repair and speak to them, ask them if they could spare an hour or two a week to teach or help you. If you send them an e-mail or a letter it makes it too easy for them to say no.I have been very lucky in that a bought a lathe from a guy in Exmouth who now helps me with any queries I have and another lovely guy who was teaching me but is just too far away.
Whichever way you go, good luck and keep at it, Bob is always around if you need sound advice and I will always help if I can.