Albert Wagstaff (our founder) described himself as a countryman and by that he meant he enjoyed rural pursuits, he enjoyed being in the great outdoors and he appreciated the skills that were needed to maintain and keep the countryside in a manner that everyone could appreciate and enjoy it.

He understood how the countryside ticked, the obvious and the less obvious stuff that made our countryside move and change. He understood the hidden skills that happened in the background but were visible to anyone who took time to observe.

Country folk working on hedging, thatching, wall building, land management and lot more and he always said these skills are dying even in his day. Some technology took over some people simply moved away from and area and there was no one left to appreciate the work even needed to be done and some were skills seemingly replaced by other ways of operating.

He taught me and my family an appreciation of rural life and we were lucky enough to spend most of it in the countryside – and to this day my sons, and friends say – @How do you know that?… and the reply is always the same… My grandad told me.

With that in mind we wanted to do something more for the countryside than merely equip people with reasonably priced watches at prices they wanted to pay, and customer service to keep them happy so we decided to begin our Apprenticeship Programme.

A proportion of the sale price of everyone of our watches goes to one side to help fund two things – grants and bursaries to those looking for funding for studying country skills and towards the creation of apprenticeships to keep rural skills alive.

We have been working with numerous partners, who know about the correct accreditation on training, and on how to go about vetting and controlling sensible distribution of skills. We were working with a charity to create our own branded rural skills apprenticeships but sadly in the crisis around Covid 19 they had to close through lost funding and inability to raise funds, so we are seeking another advisory partner right now.

We are talking to the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester about promoting skills courses and getting pointers on the best avenues to go down as well as other smaller not for profits who offer rural skills courses too. We hope to announce more details soon.

So when you buy a Wagstaff Watch you are helping the countryside and others as well as getting yourself a timepiece. Thank you.