You may remember in Autumn 2019, I took ownership of an old sandstone clock from the David Livingstone Centre? Rescuing it from being demolished I took it upon myself to promise to restore it on behalf of the people of Blantyre.
The clock was donated to the centre back in 1941 by the trustees of Mrs Janet Herald, but had fallen into disrepair. Indeed nothing was worth keeping in 2019, other than the stone itself and the little plaque.
At the end of 2019, an incredible £585 was raised on the Blantyre Telegraph page by public subscription from individuals also keen on saving the clock for future generations. Almost right away some of this was used to hire contractors to safely move the 0.3t heavy clock from Shuttle Row to an offsite location for storage and renovation.
In Winter 2019/2020, things moved along with some good progress.
1. The clock was moved into position to work on it from all sides, lifted off the ground for easy working.
2. It was cleaned entirely of moss, green mould and dampness.
3. The existing plaque was removed and cleaned for salvaging.
4. The wrought iron broken face framework was carefully removed as were all rusted screws broken off into the stone.
5. The interior wooden frame now rotted through, was entirely removed and thrown away.
6. The existing clock mechanism and hands, rusted beyond repair removed and thrown away.
7. All sealant cement carefully chipped off back to a level stone face.
8. The sandstone interior was painstakingly chipped away ever so carefully to create a larger void, in which will later house a modern mains clock mechanism.
9. Interior of the stone was painted with a clear sealing agent.
The Covid came along and the whole project was paused.
Now, in Autumn 2020, I can lift my foot from the brakes and get on with the renovation, very much being done in spare time. It’s hoped this project will be finished in the Springtime 2021 and offered back to the centre for public display once again as a fully functional clock. The face and new electronic mechanism will be in an art deco syle, in colours and styling as close as possible to the original.
There will be one important addition to the renovated clock. The face will be inscribed with the surnames of the 28 people who paid for the renovation, namely; Bate, Bell, Brown, Crossan, Cunningham, Fee, Hambley, Henderson, Irwin, Kerrigan, Macrae, Marr, Marshall, Mather, McDonald, McGibbon, McLachlan, McLean, Monk, Nicholl, Pollock, Reamonn, Robb, Rochead, Slater, Veverka, Watson and Watt.
I just wanted to offer a little update in the interests of transparency and to mention its not been forgotten about! All being well, from 2021, this clock will be on public display in Blantyre for many more generations.