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Fate of the clock at St Ethelburgas

05 April 2013


From Mr Derek Thackray
Sir, - A wave of affection swept over me when I saw Trevor Blundell's photographs illustrating his article on the National Public Clock Database ( Features, 28 March). I recognised them all. They were all on my beat when I began pounding the City streets as an office boy in 1946, starting daily on arrival at Liverpool Street, and running up Bishopsgate towards my office in Leadenhall Street.

So, of course, (after St Botolph's) there came the familiar blue face of St Ethelburga's clock, set low on the wall of that tiny church among taller office buildings. I saw it almost daily during 27 years in the City.

I would recognise it anywhere, which is why, long after my retirement, I got so excited when I saw it last year, not in the Church Times, but in the bell tower on Barrack Street looking down Swan River in Perth, the West Australian capital city. It was complete with its workings, among many others there of all ages, in a splendid exhibition of clocks and bells, two or three floors below the former bells of St Martin's-in-the-Fields (another British export).

Mr Blundell's photo reveals, I think, a fine replica, which deserves a mention when completing the database. It must have been included in the rebuilding after the IRA bomb in 1992.

3 Ash Close
PE37 7NH

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