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Issue 16 - June 2010

High Time! - Parish Church Clock re-fit

Authorisation has now been given to clockmakers from Edinburgh to remove the clock from the spire of Braemar Parish Church to undertake nec-essary restoration work and to facilitate the fitting of an electric motor to operate the mechanism.

clock works

The clock, which is an 1870 Bryson flat bed mechanism with hourly strike, was first illuminated in 1958 but since its installation it has had to be manually wound by a member of the congrega-tion, an operation requiring weekly ascent of a somewhat precarious 55 ladder steps onto a wooden access platform where a key, similar to a car cranking handle, has to be turned 65 times to fully wind the mechanism. The current winder Mr John Duff has held the dubious honour for over 20 years succeeding Mr John Jolly, Mr Bobby Ewan and the redoubtable Mr Towser Wilson. The clock was last serviced in 1995 and it is not yet known how long the proposed work will take or for how long the clock will be missing, but it will not be returned to the tower until any repair work necessary to the spire itself has been completed.

To assess this work a firm of steeplejacks from Melrose has been invited to undertake an internal and external survey of its condition. It is antici-pated that these investigations, which will involve rope access, are to extend over two days and will examine the masonry and pointing as well as internal access platforms and supports. No date for this has yet been agreed but it is hoped to combine this work with external fabric repairs to Braemar Castle. On its completion the dilapi-dation survey will be used as the basis for ob-taining tenders from suitable building contrac-tors to carry out any necessary repairs.

In total over £7000 has to be raised by the community to finance the clock repairs while the steeple repair bill will be met by the Church itself. Fundraising events for The Clock Appeal have already raised more than half of the target and include a donation from Crathie Cricket Club, the recent Charity Shop in the vacant Capercailie premises as well as donations from the Castleton Dancers and the proceeds from the coffee morning in Kindro-chit Court. Future events are already planned including a Cycle Round the Clock on mid-summer‘s day and the Clunie duck race -so there are still plenty opportunities for everyone to get behind this very worthwhile cause to safeguard an invaluable village asset.


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