christie clock in stirling

Local uproar as Stirling historic clock is demolished

4 mins read

A clock on Port Street in Stirling was demolished on September 1 over safety fears after an inspection.

Issues had been raised surrounding the structural integrity of the 117-year-old clock. After recommendations from engineers, emergency work began to extract the head and then also the pillar.

Stirling Council stated that “sections of the clock have been removed intact” and “repair work on the base will commence over the next two weeks.”

A review of a restoration project on the pillar, crown, and clock was promised.

Residents left upset over Stirling clock demolition

Despite this, local residents of Stirling were left unimpressed by the Council’s handling of the situation.

Videos quickly circulated on social media of the process of the removal showing toppling scaffolding.

Many were displeased that there was no warning of the removal and that it was done late at night. The clock was finally being demolished close to midnight.

Alistair Mcdonald, a local Stirling resident, was enraged by the Council’s actions especially due to his family’s connection to the clock.

He said on social media: “My father Thomas Mcdonald helped to lead the group that restored the Christie Memorial Clock in 2006 to celebrate its 100th year anniversary through the City Heritage Trust and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Scotland.

“This was a community project and most of the work was done for free or at cost price to allow the project to succeed.”

Council’s response

After concerns from her constituents, local MSP Evelyn Tweed wrote to the Council on September 4. She wanted to clarify whether there were prior discussions with Historic Environment Scotland, how much of the clock’s face has been salvaged and whether an investigation will be conducted.

She also asked for reassurance for her constituents that the clock will be rebuilt and restored.

Stirling MP, Alyn Smith, also wrote to Stirling Council leader Chris Kane.

He said: “I’m very clear in my view, the Council should investigate the events leading up to the destruction of the clock, and commit to its full restoration.

“Stirling Council has an important responsibility to protect Stirling’s heritage, and they must live up to their duties.”

Kane then released a statement on September 5 acknowledging the public upset and emphasising their commitment to rebuilding and restoring the landmark.

“Officers will work at pace to prepare a report for the next Council meeting to provide further information on that plan,” the statement reads.

“The legacy of the Christie Clock will be preserved.”

Brig reached out for a comment from Stirling Council but no response was given by the time this publication went to print.

Local woman Pamela Littlefield watched the process happen. Whilst the demolition crane arrived at approximately 2pm, the cherry picker arrived at 5pm.

“Work should have never started at 5pm,” she said.

“As it took them so long to get the top off the tower when it came to approximately 10pm they just started to destroy the rest of the tower with the crane.

“I do think they had a plan, however, I don’t think they had a backup plan and unfortunately I feel they panicked and that is why it was destroyed the way it was.”

Featured Image Credit: The Scottish Sun

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Film, Media and Journalism student who writes about things that catch her interest. Instagram @charlsutcliffe

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