Thursday’s Special: Grandfather’s Clock

Paula’s ‘Thursday’s Special Challenge’ this week is ‘Traces Of The Past’. Somewhere in one of our packing boxes which came over from South Africa, is hubby’s grandfather’s clock, which was presented to him in 1894 by grateful members of the church where he’d served as minister.


Many years ago, when we visited my sister-in-law in Ireland, hubby found the old clock languishing in her cellar. He asked if we could take it back to South Africa with us as she obviously didn’t use it. She agreed and it was taken on the plane as hand luggage. The case is black slate and marble and is very heavy, weighing over 20 kgs (44 lbs). We removed the mechanism and packed it separately so it wouldn’t get damaged en route. I remember us buying a small suitcase which would be allowed as cabin baggage, to put it in. The trick was to carry it through check-in and onto the plane as though it weighed next to nothing, or it may not have been allowed. Back home, we had it serviced and it worked as good as new, even the chime. It had a really beautifully ornate key for winding, which very annoyingly, the service guy said that he’d mislaid. He gave us a plain one as a replacement, saying he would look for the original in his workshop, but it never reappeared. Hmmm!

Although the date on the plaque is 1894, we were told that the clock is actually much older, so it must have been 2nd hand when grandfather got it. The ‘pair of bronzes’ it mentions, are a mystery, and no-one in the family has them, which is a great pity, as we would have liked those to go with it.


The church is no longer standing, having been demolished in the 1980’s, but I found this postcard picture of it on the internet.


Once our house renovations are completed, it will be fun to unpack all our boxes and give this old clock a special place in our sitting room.