Historical information

This Screw brand chisel was made by Charles Taylors (Sheffield Tools) Ltd of England. It was used in the making of components for the ship model Sovereign of the Seas. It is part of a collection of objects used by Jim Williams, maker of fine ship models from about 1930-1955. Most of the components for the models, as well as many of the tools, were handmade by Jim Williams. Jim’s family has donated the ship model “Sovereign of the Seas” and many tools, accessories and documents used in the making of this and other ship models have been donated to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.

ABOUT JIM WILLIAMS, SHIP MODEL MAKER

James Bernard Williams was known as Jim Williams, born 1888 at The Forth and died 1959 in Warrnambool. He was a passionate ship model builder.

Jim left school at the age of 14 years to work at the Don Store in Ulverstone, Tasmania. He played piano at the silent pictures. He enlisted and fought in France along with his two brothers and was wounded there. On return to Tasmania he found it difficult to get employment. He moved to Warrnambool and worked in the menswear department at Cramond & Dickson clothing store, corner of Timor and Liebig streets, until the Depression, when he lost his job.

After some time unemployed and working part time until 1932, Jim was employed at Fletcher Jones Menswear in Warrnambool. In 1957 Fletcher Jones invited Jim to write out a list of the most interesting details of the ship model Sovereign of the Seas, with the view of displaying the model and the information for a short time in the factory and then move it to the display window of the Fletcher Jones shop in Warrnambool. Jim worked there for 27 years until just before he died in 1959. His Retirement Speech letter and a Staff Photo from Fletcher Jones are included with the donation.
ABOUT JIM’S MODEL MAKING
For many years Jim worked on his model ships, including The Endeavour and The Sovereign of the Seas. He had a table set up in a bay window and worked on them on and off using a jeweller's eye glass on the finer pieces. He was a real perfectionist and would re-carve pieces many times until he was happy with the results.

Significance

The Sovereign of the Seas ship was launched in 1637. It is significant to English maritime heritage.
This chisel is connected with the hobby and skill of ship model making that has been carried as a leisure activity out for generations. Ship model making was also a pastime for sailing crew, who often made a model of the ship in which they were sailing.

This chisel was used by Jim Williams, a local Warrnambool man, employed at Cramond and Dickson department store and at Fletcher Jones menswear for 27 years.

Physical description

Small chisel, 7cm at cutting surface, made of cast steel with wooden handle. Brand is ‘Screw’, made by Charles Taylors (Sheffield Tools) Ltd. of England. This chisel is part of a collection of tools and accessories once used by Jim Williams, maker of a series of ship models 1930-1955 including “HMS Sovereign of the Seas”.

Inscriptions & markings

"Screw" Brand Superior Quality. Charles Taylors (Sheffield Tools) Ltd. England” and “Cast Steel England”