THE FUNERAL takes place today of Cliff Burnett, co-founder of the world-famous Museum of Mechanical Music at Northleach, has died aged 75. He had been suffering from cancer.

Mr Burnett and his business partner Keith Harding moved to Northleach in 1987.

They had built up their collection of musical boxes and clocks in an antiques shop and workshop in North London in the early 1960s.

Mr Burnett was born in Bromley, Kent, and was and evacuated to Leicestershire during the Second World War.

He joined the RAF, became a radio fitter and served during the political crises in Suez and Cyprus during the 1950s. He helped to develop aircraft instrument landing systems.

After he left the RAF, he worked as an electronics engineer and met his future partner Keith Harding, with whom he established the museum.

"We complemented one another. I could not have done it without him, and he without me", said Mr Harding.

Among Mr Burnett’s achievements was the development of a method of "re-pinning" musical box cylinders. This was adopted by the Swiss as better than their own, said Mr Harding, and was now widely used in Japan.

In 1977, the pair were commissioned to design and make an entirely new clock for a special exhibition of British craftsmanship in the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

In 1982, they built The Oriel House Clock for the entrance hall of the Church Commissioners building in London. It keeps time to within one second a week, Mr Parker said calls of condolence had been received from around the world. They included one from Jonathan Betts, senior specialist in horology – the science of measuring time - at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, who they helped to train.

Mr Burnett’s funeral is at Kingsdown crematorium, Swindon, at 11am Friday February 11. It is followed by a service of memorial and celebration at St Peter and St Paul’s church, Northleach, at 1.30pm.