James Ritchie & Son hitting the headlines over Edinburgh's historic clocks


Posted on 31 March, 2015


James Ritchie & Son has been in the news in Scotland after it emerged that the last seven civic clocks in Edinburgh that are wound by hand by our engineers are to be converted from manual-wind to auto-wind.

Alan Wilson, Managing Director of James Ritchie & Son - part of the Smith of Derby group of companies - found himself in the media spotlight, giving interviews to the Herald, Daily mail, BBC and Edinburgh Evening News.

The press were keen to call upon his expertise, having wound all the clocks in question for decades, and knowing their workings inside out.

The clocks include St Giles Cathedral, the Canongate Tollbooth, Highlight Tolbooth Church in the Lawnmarket and the Time Ball on Calton Hill.

Mr Wilson said the new system would retain the integrity of the clocks' workings. He said: "It's a natural move and won't damage the clock; it's just the modern way of doing things. The automated system is safer and quicker and doesn't compromise the mechanism."

As for becoming a media star for a few days, Alan is pleased to step out of the spotlights and back to his passion of clock-making.

He said: "I've had telephone calls from all over the place, the people of Edinburgh and further afield are really interested in their clocks."


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