Vintage ORIGINAL clock/timer adorned the famed walls of the Jack Solmomons Great Windmill Street gym where World champions and prospects trained between 1940 to 1960.
Jackie Turpins Description Of The Gym Where The Three Fighting Turpin Brothers Would Train (BATTLING JACK - YOU GOTTA FIGHT BACK page 73)
Solomons' gym, I ain't akidding, everybody congregated there - in the gym, on the stairs, on the landings and in the offices - champions; contenders; retired professionals; boxing fans hoping to see big names; managers and promoters looking for deals; gamblers sniffing around for a good bet; reporters ear-wigging for stories; gangsters and hard men like Jack Spot, Frankie Fraser, the Kray twins and Charlie and their mates; actors and comedians like Bud Flanagan out of the Grazy Gang - practically anybody and everybody who was interested in doing or talking about boxing. Jack Solomons lorded it over the lot of ' em, arguing and shouting, cracking jokes and telephoning, and puffing away on his king-size cigars. All day long was like Paddington Station in the rush hour. There was some right dodgy-looking bleeders there an' all, with big overcoats on and their trilbies pulled down. It'd be in the middle of the summer and they'd have their hands dug in their pockets and their collars turned up.
This is how Jack Solomons described his gym situated at 41 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London:-
"Over the far side is a ring where, at almost any time of the night or day, you will see lads in sweat suits sparring and shadowing. Around the ring dozens more will be punching the light bag, the heavy bag and the tattoo ball, or skipping, going through the daily dozens, lying on their backs pedalling their legs in the air, hardening their stomach muscles, steaming down to weight, and getting fighting fit, maybe to get a hiding, maybe to give one. Oh, the hell and heartbreak of frustrated ambition in that place of tears, toil and sweat!"
Many greats to have trained at the gym included:-
* Ted Kid Lewis
* Eric Boon
* Fighting Turpin Brothers Randolph, Jackie & Dick
* Freddie Mills
* Bruce Woodcock
* Harry Mizler
* Sammy McCarthy
* Gus Lesnevitch
* Don Cockell
* Lee Savold
* Joe Baksi / And Many More
* The gym also hosted the Sugar Ray Robinson vs Randolph Turpin weigh-in.
This significant relic of British boxing history was manufactured by English Clock Systems Ltd, London, and came into the possession of Jackie Turpin upon the closure of the gym. Jackie continued using the time piece after becoming a trainer.
The clock is designed to show one revolution of the hand for each four minutes, thus recording three minutes per round, and one minute rest, in the red segment and is in good working order.
Lydia Turpin inherited this wonderful timeless museum piece of a bygone period of British boxing history when her grandfather Jackie sadly passed away in 2010 and then had the clock renovated by a specialist.
Condition beautiful / measures circumference 20 1/2" x depth 7 3/4" complete with 4 original wall bracket attachments.
Can you imagine what this stunning artefact witnessed and overheard within the walls of this famous gym frequented by the biggest names in World boxing during this prolific pre/post World War II period. ***If Only It Could Talk***
The clock can be viewed in the image behind Lee Savold in the top right hand corner.
Jack Solomons's Gym Remembered By Sammy McCarthy And Teddy Lewis
Jack Solomons (December 1900 – 8th December 1979) was a British boxing promoter who has been called "one of the greatest boxing promoters in history" and "England's greatest boxing impresario".
Solomons was born in Petticoat Lane in the East End of London. He began promoting boxing in London during the 1930's. He took over operations at the Devonshire Club in Hackney, but that club was destroyed in the bombing of 1940. Later,his base of operations was his gymnasium located at 41 Great Windmill Street in Soho.
His first great success came when he put together a match between Jack London and Bruce Woodcock for the British heavyweight title. He was involved in many major British boxing promotions involving Woodcock, Freddie Mills, and Randolph Turpin during those years. He promoted the bout between Turpin and Sugar Ray Robinson when Robinson lost his middleweight World title in 1951. He was particularly associated with promoting boxing matches at Harringay Arena in north London. In all, he promoted 26 World title fights. He also promoted Henry Cooper's 1963 bout with Muhammad Ali (but not their 1966 rematch).
Solomons died in 1979 and was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.