I was 17, going on 18. I had completed my 'A' level exams and no longer had to go to school, grammar school. However, that year, the last official day of term happened to be my 18th birthday so I decided to stay to end of school on that momentus day.
My chemistry teacher was interested in electronics and I also was part of the lighting crew for the school plays. So I was allowed to use a spare room when all the lighting equipment was stored. There, under the guidemce of an electronics magazine, my chemistry teacher and my own ideas my first clock was created and came to life.
It consisted of 13 of those new fangled TTL ICs. a mains transformer and a handfull of parts. The displays were 4 nixie tubes, all hard wired to VeroBoard.
Interestingly, years later, I worked for a local broadcast TV station and an electronics engineer. I was responsible for keeping the whole station timed correctly, using tricks to move the studios backwards and forwards in time so all the signals arrived at the vision mixing panels and master control at the same time. I was nick named Dr Who. And my interest really stated in that small rom.
Now, I recently designed anothe nixie clock. 6 tubes. 2 ICs a phone charger and few other parts. Obviosly though there is a PCB, designed in non other than DesignSpark