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Monday 17 June 2019

Ooh matron! Carry On star’s alarm clock could tick all the boxes at auction

Kenneth Williams sold the trusty timepiece in 1978 to help raise funds for an explorer.

Kenneth Williams
Kenneth Williams

By Flora Thompson, Press Association

An alarm clock which faithfully helped a Carry On star turn up on time for every single film call will go under the hammer.

The 1960s Swiza clock belonged to Kenneth Williams, who was in 26 out of the 31 films in the comedy series, more than any other actor.

It is expected to fetch between £60 and £100 when it is sold alongside three letters written by Williams at Catherine Southon’s auction at Farleigh Golf Course, Surrey, on Wednesday.

Fan Hester Fernee, 73, of West Wickham, bought the clock at a fundraiser in 1978 in aid of travels planned by Robin Knox-Johnston who had become the first person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe nine years earlier.

A clock once belonging to Kenneth Williams is going under the hammer (Auctioneers/PA)

Celebrities, including Williams, had donated items to be sold for the cause.

The clock came with a letter from him which said: “This dear old clock has unfailingly wakened me since 1960 for every early film call I’ve had.”

Mrs Fernee then wrote to him and he responded to say: “It’s a good alarm and never let me down and I am a stickler for punctuality.”

She decided to take it to be valued by Ms Southon in January this year because she was downsizing and wanted it to go to a good home with another fan, an auction house spokeswoman said.

Ms Southon added: “It is so nice to get someone to walk in with an item that has such a lovely story attached to it.

“I really like his response to her letter after buying the clock. He was clearly touched when he wrote: ‘Of all the articles I’ve ever given, this is the first acknowledgement I’ve ever received from the purchaser’.”

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