1 Mar


About 10 years ago I started a local website called (I still own the domain name and use it for email, though the site is long gone). Of all the emails I received about the site, by far the most common request was for information about an artist who once lived and worked in Forest Gate, L Kersh.

Mr Kersh specialized in what he called “horological collages” – pictures made up from bits of clocks and watches, like the example above. These works have travelled far and wide and their owners were keen to know more about the artist and his work.

I posted a number of these requests on the site and, quite remarkably, various members of Mr. Kersh’s family got in touch. They were proud to know how much pleasure people continued to get from his work:

I found your website on a link from Ebay while I was trying to find work done by Len Kersh.

I am proud to say he was my Uncle, he was married to my Aunty Marion (my Mum’s Sister). I remember as a child going over to over to see them regularly at their house in Station Road, Epping, Essex, UK.

I have fond memories of him and remember him being a lovely Uncle. His Wife now lives in Spain but stays in touch with My Mum on the phone & sometimes pops over to the UK to visit her.

Another wrote:

Just want to let you know that Len Kersh was my uncle and he passed away a few years ago. He had three daughters and I would love to have contact with them.

I live in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to the internet I was able to find cousin Nigel and would love to find these other cousins. I actually met one of them at the factory in 1977.

and cousin Nigel also got in touch:

L (Len) Kersh of London was my grandfather’s nephew. Len’s father, Jack Kersh and my grandfather, Michael Kersh were brothers. They were born in Riga in Latvia, and emigrated to the United Kingdom (Sunderland in Jack’s case, and Glasgow, in my grandfather’s case), where they lived out the rest of their days.

The story goes that Len was a “bit of a lad” in his youth, and got into all sorts of trouble. He eventually left home in Sunderland, and made his way to London. There he lost touch with his family, but made good by developing an idea with which he had helped a family member do a school project – the making of collages from old odds and ends. Ultimately this developed into his “horological collages” with which so many people are now familiar the world over.

I only recently made contact with Jack Kersh’s side of the family as he and my grandfather apparently fell out over some matter, and never saw one another again. It was only by chance that the daughter of one of Len’s brothers, Bennie Kersh contacted me from Australia. I now have the missing pieces of our family tree, and it’s quite something.

I don’t know what happened to Len, but I do know that his brother Charles is still alive and well and living in South Africa, where I am in contact with him through his son, also named Jack. I’ve asked him for further information about Len, but I’m not sure if he will have any further information beyond what I have described above. I do know that Len, Bennie and Charles had four sisters – Ethel, Elsie, Eva and Rose, and I’d love to know what became of them and of Len’s children, if he had any.

I hope that fills in some of the missing information on my distant cousin.

As can be seen from the certificate of authenticity that accompanied every piece he produced Kersh’s studio (or “factory” as his niece called it) was at 332 Romford Road. Sadly, there’s nothing now there to tell the world that this was where Kersh worked.



42 Responses to “Clockwork”

  1. Brian Pickett March 24, 2014 at 14:35 #

    I believe that prior to the works being at number 332 ( almost opposite Wag Bennets gym ), they were further east along the Romford road. It was situated on the same block as the old Forest Gate police stn, 3 or 4 doors along from the wagon & horses pub, and my mother worked there in the very early 70’s

  2. Lorraine May 20, 2014 at 19:42 #

    Hello found this site after much trawling the Internet trying to find information on L.Kersh,
    I have been looking for RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 with the Statue of Liberty,it has the genuine label 1975 on back of collage with signature and I can’t find anything anywhere,any information would be appreciated Thankyou:-)

    • Ian December 13, 2020 at 13:57 #

      L Kersh was my grandad

  3. Amanda June 21, 2014 at 12:43 #

    Hello, I have the original RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 with the statue of liberty. It has the ‘worldwide copyright’ etc, ‘hand made in England’ stamps in capital letters and the signed L.Kersh paper label on the back (1975) in good condition. Apparently the back of the picture has the number 32 hand written in pencil, don’t know what that means. Anyway, looking to sell as I am down sizing and I just woundered if anyway knew the value that I could expect.

  4. narendra lodhia December 15, 2014 at 18:43 #

    Len and I were great friends. When he ssold his business on royalty % , I was his commissioned sales man for UK and holland. After the company went bankrupt , I took over together with nitya his daughter and carried on for good 2 years until she was diagonised Cancer. len and I sold 100s of portrauits. I like to meet you kindly ciontact me.I still have 100s of collages, I wqas known to the family as Robin or Rob.Romford Rd factiory ? Remember?

    • Nigel Kersh September 3, 2015 at 18:59 #

      Hi, Narendra. I just spotted your message on the Forest Gate site. You mentioned that you were friends with Len Kersh. Are you still in touch with any of his family. I have someone who would like to make contact with his next of kin with regards to making a movie, and using some of Len’s artwork in the film. Please contact me directly on if you have any information. Best regards, Nigel Kersh, Ra’anana, Israel.

    • geo January 21, 2021 at 09:24 #

      Please contact me as I collect these

  5. David Derbyshire January 11, 2015 at 11:58 #

    I bought 2 at a market on Bayswater Road in the early 70s – Tower Bridge and London Bus still have them.

  6. George Georgiou March 10, 2015 at 21:50 #

    I have the Brighton Belle dated 1978 by L Kersh, I look at it and wonder how long it would have taken to do all that work of art, and what type of clocks all the pits he used come from, Mr Kersh has been under estimated if you ask me, scrap clock made into wonderful work of art.
    Their should be a gallery so others can see his work.
    George Georgiou, Cleethorpes.

  7. Mathew jones June 8, 2015 at 14:40 #

    I have the Alfa romeo 1930 I would like to know what its worth as not seen one on the web

    • Carol Cusack March 13, 2021 at 19:21 #

      I have an Alfa Romero 1930 too (copyright 1970)! I received it by chance today when my neighbor alerted me that they did not want it anymore. My husband is obsessed with clocks and I thought he would enjoy it. I’m pleasantly surprised that it was an original piece of artwork and am working to educate myself on the artist, Len Kerch.

  8. Howard Spialter June 18, 2015 at 21:19 #

    I have one entitled “TIME” for Law & Order. Any idea as to value?

  9. Nigel Kersh September 3, 2015 at 19:00 #

    If anyone has any way of contacting any of Len Kersh’s family, please let me know.

    • lee November 23, 2016 at 20:00 #

      Hi Nigel

      Noted your interest on the forest gate

      Im Len Kersh’s oldest grandson my mother Nita was his oldest daughter . I used to work weekends for him as a youth selling his pictures from varioussits incuding Bayswater Road

      I live in Mayfair London not sure if we are related be fun to make a film As a child Ihe used to pick me up on satuday morning and drive me round with him on his business and I met many of his gangland contacts in the East end There are various colurfull tales in his background !

      My Mother Nita died of Cancer in 2000 but His other daughters Gloria and Carol are still alive I can put uoi in touch

      I was great friend to our uncle Lens cousin )Rabbi Bernard Kersh Who I think was the Bishop of Sunderland and i think the acting Chief Rabbi of ireland and there is famous book called from Juddaism to Catholicism which is also a great tale . Uncle Bernard told me we are related To the famous lyricist Don Black ( Kersh ) Andrew Lloyd webbers songwriter

      He was a gentleman a great mentor

  10. Jason March 21, 2016 at 09:26 #

    I too now own an origional by L.kersh. It is of a 1902 Packard and hand signed, also has the authenticity label and stamp on the back. I live in southern California and im happy to say this awesome piece of Mr. kersh’s work has made it all the way here and is in great shape still. I proudly display it on my way with many other amazing works from others. Its cool to know i own a little bit of the kersh legacy.

  11. Melissa H December 9, 2016 at 23:22 #

    I recently purchased an original L Kerch of London horological collage , and am fascinated with it. I have purchased “The General 1862” . Unfortunately in shipping it has suffered much damage I question if anyone knows which type of adhesive was used?

  12. Mandie Greenham September 10, 2017 at 19:45 #

    Hi just found your page. I’d like to add to the family tree. I’m am the grand daughter of len kersh amanda. Granddad len had 3 daughters from his first wife Marie, their name where Lenita carol and Gloria. Lenita had 2 children Lee and Rhonda and they have their own children now too.
    Unfortunately Lenita pasted away some years ago now due to cancer.
    Carol had 3 children. Ian john and Debbie which also have children and grand children.
    Gloria had 2 children amanda and Donna and they too have children So the family tree expands a great deal these days.

    I remember going to the studio as a kids and running around exploring all the rooms. It was mad in there full of cardboard bubble wrap and lots of people sorting out watch parts.

    After grandad len gave up the business, his daughter Gloria and kelvin ( my mum and dad) took over and they carried on making the pictures for many years trading under Regal clocks.

    Sadly Today the business is no more, but them times hold good memories for me and my family.

    • Nigel Kersh September 11, 2017 at 10:27 #

      Hi, Amanda (or is it Mandie…?),

      Good to hear from you.

      Please send me your email address and I should be able to send you information on your grandfather. He sounded like quite a character. I can also send you my family tree, which will show you his origins.

      Nice to be in touch.

      With best regards,

      Nigel Kersh

      • Stephen ward January 21, 2018 at 20:52 #

        Hi Nigel, I hope your well.
        My name is Stephen and my wife and myself worked for Mr Kersh from 1975 until the studio closed in 1984 in Romford Road , forest gate.
        I cut the frames and assembled them and my wife was a filler in and a liner.
        Mr Kersh was a fine man and I was glad to have the privallage to work with him.
        Reference to one of the questions on here In regards to what the pencil numbers ment on the back of the picture (32); that was the picture assemblers number, my wife was number 32 from our memory.
        You may be very proud to know that when the business began to struggle Mr Kersh done everything within his power not make any staff redundant he was a very honorable gentleman.

      • Nigel Kersh January 21, 2018 at 21:49 #

        Dear Stephen,

        How kind of you to have written. I really appreciate your memories of my relative. I didn’t ever meet him although there is a great story of my Dad who saw an exhibition of his during his National Service. He found it interesting to see an artist with the same name as his. He didn’t approach Len, thinking it was just a coincidence. In fact, they were first cousins. Such is life!

        Best wishes to you and your wife.

        WIth thanks and kind regards,

        Nigel Kersh

  13. Ashley C December 19, 2017 at 21:39 #

    I have just inherited a lovely piece of work the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 1910 which I will keep with me and cherish forever. It has made it all the way to Vancouver Canada where it will continue to be loved.

  14. Angela September 30, 2018 at 16:46 #

    I found a mint condition 1970’s signed and authenticated L Kersh Horological College of the American Dakota 1957 yesterday but it isn’t numbered. The little write up on the back says they should all be numbered. Could that be a sign that it isn’t genuine or could the number be under the frame? I don’t want to break the seal and check. Thank you!

    • Martin Warne September 30, 2018 at 16:54 #

      It’s almost certainly genuine. Put it on the wall and enjoy it.

  15. Annie Bass October 26, 2019 at 20:18 #

    Hello I have come across one that is a man sking. Haven’t found any information about this one.

  16. Kate Howard April 28, 2020 at 21:38 #

    I knew Len in the 1960s and 1970s as the sister of a member of my family worked for him and they in fact married in later life. Her name was Marion. We used to go to their house in Epping at Christmas time. I remember it was a beautiful place, they always had a huge Christmas tree and there was lots of food and drink. Len was a larger than life character, always very jolly and good fun. I remember him as a generous man, a great host. He painted as well and a number of people I knew asked him to do portraits of their kids. We had one of his clock pictures (of a car) for years in our wall. No idea what happened to it.

    • Nigel Kersh April 29, 2020 at 06:30 #

      Hello, Kate. Thanks for the memory. Len was my Dad’s first cousin – their fathers were brothers. Would you happen to know if Marion is still with us?

      Nigel Kersh

      • Kate Howard April 29, 2020 at 15:57 #

        I don’t think so, though I am not 100% sure. She had two sisters, Eileen (who has definitely gone) and … sorry, can’t recall what the other was called. Eileen’s husband’s brother was married to my mum’s eldest sister. We used to have a lot of family get togethers in the 1960s and 70s. I have lost touch with most of them now. Regards, Kate.

    • Judy Satterwhite July 25, 2021 at 00:12 #

      When visiting London, I went to Bayswater Road on Sundays in the 1970-80s. I bought two lovely oil paintings of Dutch landscapes with skaters on frozen river and windmills in background. Beautiful. I want to know more about his oil paintings and current value.

  17. Ian Eary May 25, 2020 at 18:29 #

    Hi I am Mr kersh grandson . Would love to hear from you email

  18. Keith Peters May 29, 2020 at 19:45 #

    My Dad took over the factory for a while whilst Len was in hospital.
    My cousin worked there as well and I think he took the idea to NZ.
    I knew Len when I was younger, he lived in Epping.

    • Ian Eary May 31, 2020 at 18:28 #

      That correct then he moved to Colchester. My mum and sisters worked there to (his daughters ) there was also a dog called Bruce an alsatian

  19. Sharon July 11, 2020 at 23:22 #

    My mum worked for len in romford road I was only about 10 at the time but I remember him so well because he was such a kind person…

    • Nigel Kersh July 12, 2020 at 06:25 #


      I’ve seen similar comments about Len on this site. He certainly did seem to have been a good person. I regret not knowing him. I am also in touch with his grandson, who I believe also reads this list. He’s also a “mensch”.

      Nigel Kersh

  20. Patricia G Delagarza December 12, 2020 at 21:29 #

    My son was gifted with one with the number 10 and it’s of a Ford Model T with the certificate of authentication in excellent condition, it made it all the way to Oak Grove Louisiana…. He loves it…

  21. geo January 21, 2021 at 09:20 #

    I have at least 30 pictures by l kersh and I am still adding to that

    • Julia February 3, 2022 at 15:44 #

      I am selling a large Big Ben, see message below.

  22. Roxanne lentz February 5, 2021 at 22:32 #

    I found today his london bus from 1914 dated n signed from 1976 though was pretty awesome when I opened the frame n found the certificate of authenticity. My 14 yr old found it at a thrift store for next to nothing so I told him to save it n one day maybe itll b worth something. I live his use of time pieces in his artwork!

  23. Julia February 3, 2022 at 15:43 #

    I have a large Big Ben picture size 107 x 62cm, or about 42 x 24.5 inches. I have searched all over the internet for another one like it but can’t find anything as large. We have owned it about 20 years, my husband loved it, but since he has passed away I am now selling lots of our stuff as we are moving.
    It’s a real collector’s item and seems quite rare.
    We live in Sunderland where Mr Kersh grew up, and it would need to be collected from here as it is too fragile to send it anywhere.
    It needs some minor repairs, and the back paper certificate is missing.
    I can send photos and more details if anyone is interested in buying it.

  24. joyce E. Elrod July 11, 2022 at 00:41 #

    I live in Ohio. My Mom worked for att government solutions. One man,I think was her boss. She was fascinated with the piece,and almost always looked at it and commented.It was hanging in his office,so when she was retiring for the third time,he gifted the piece. My Mom passed in 2020. So I thought I wanted to know more about it.I wish I known the man’s name that gave it to her to atleast thank him. Her name was Carol Lovett

  25. Scott C Chase March 20, 2023 at 11:23 #

    I’m amazed to be commenting 10 years after the original post! Hopefully folk are still reading this thread 🙂

    I own one of Mr. Kersh’s horological works: “Opera House Sydney” that looks to have have been created in 1978, judging by what’s on the back of the framed piece (the certificate is signed without a date, but there’s a Worldwide Copyright 1978 ink stamp on the back). There is a pencilled ’14’ in the corner of the certificate, which according to Stephen Ward’s comment would be the picture assembler’s number.

    I discovered this in a junk shop in rural New South Wales, Australia in 2001; if I recall, I paid AUD 20 for it! As an academic working in the Architecture faculty at the University of Sydney, I was obsessed with the Opera House (in particular after having struggled to create a 3D CAD model of it in 1986 for an coursework project, in the days when 3D computer modelling was quite difficult, especially for a building with such complex geometry).

    The piece has suffered a wee bit over the years: one of the arches on the Sydney Harbour Bridge has come loose (twice); I did a repair back in 2001, but it’s once again in a state of disrepair, which doesn’t detract from enjoyment of the piece.

    It hangs in my lounge room and comes off the wall twice a year for the changing of the clocks. I appreciate it even more these days, as the ticking of the seconds serves as a counting aid when doing my daily exercises!

    The clock has travelled with me to Glasgow (where I now live) and Denmark. Amazing that it’s been halfway around the world and then back to the UK in the 45 years since it was created!

    I was quite interested to read about all of the family connections here, as I have a keen interest in Jewish genealogy (but with my roots in the US and eastern Europe, none from the UK).

  26. Steve March 25, 2023 at 17:29 #

    The label on the back of the picture was to prove it was a original work of two pictures were the same. Which meant no tax had to be paid, the number on back was the assembler not the amount made. I worked there in 1978 so your frame was made by me.I was there form 1976 to 1984,Mr kersh was a lovely man,probably the best boss I ever worked for, The pictures were sent all over the world.

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