The eccentric world of cuckoo clocks and their custodians

Roman and Maz Piekarski are brothers, skilled as clockmakers, who between them personal greater than 700 cuckoo clocks (500 of which, they insist, are “stonkers”). Now of their sixties, the pair were operating the Cuckooland Museum, in Tabley in Cheshire, for greater than 30 years. Once a well-liked vacationer vacation spot, lately it’s suffering to stay its doorways open. Speaking to a BBC Radio 4 manufacturer for this document, the Piekarskis end up themselves true eccentrics, as you may be expecting. Early on, Maz – or is it Roman? – asks for the time, noting with wonder that he isn’t dressed in an eye fixed: “16:47… is it?! I thought it was only about two o’clock!” It’s the type of element that may be at the nostril in fiction, however is revealing of the loss of self-awareness that turns out a prerequisite for lifestyles’s strangest characters. For all of the clocks that tick round them, Maz and Roman appear repeatedly shocked through the passage of time. “I do get upset sometimes,” Roman, who has a couple of sclerosis, admits. “Where’s my life gone? Where’s it gone?”

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Both single, the 2 were residing and dealing in combination all their lives. Their dynamic is established early – Maz, who speaks in a decrease, gruffer voice, is the employee; Roman, who is 2 years older and has the next, faster tone, is the talker. They percentage an never-ending urge for food for nostalgia, reminiscing in regards to the sound of outdated school-bells and seashore waltzers.

They pay attention to archive performs on Radio 4 Extra, which run with a disclaimer about language that has elderly badly. “‘Times have changed. Attitudes have changed.’ Well, that’s how we were brought up,” Maz grouches. “They want to change my mind and I don’t like it.” A beat. “We like music as well,” Roman says brightly.

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At instances those two appear to be a caution in opposition to residing up to now. But in addition they exhibit the rewards of discovering connections with those who got here ahead of us. “They tell a story,” Roman says of the clocks. “You’re collecting someone else’s history, and the fascinating thing about it is you’re not going to find it out. But you can dream.”

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