Bridge Clock Tower

Not many give a thought to the handsome clock tower at the south end of the Stevenson Bridge, marooned on a traffic island since the opening of the Inner Relief Road in 1971. This photograph, gifted to the Smith by John Calderbank of Stockport, shows it in 1914.

The tower, designed by local architects McLuckie and Walker, was the personal gift of Provost David Bayne to Stirling in 1910. It was a valuable public asset, enabling people coming from the north and those working at the livestock marts in nearby Seaforth Place to keep a check on the time. Time keeping was a local matter. The BBC did not provide time checks until 1924 and the Speaking Clock was introduced only in 1936. Even in the War years of the 1940s, Stirling paid a contractor to service the burgh’s 66 clocks. There were 8 turret, 5 outside electric and 3 outside mechanical clocks. The rest were in the Municipal Buildings.

 

David Bayne was a major benefactor who shaped the town. A grocer to trade, he was on the town council for 21 years, spending 9 of them as Provost. The Municipal Building was commissioned and built during his time and he gifted the carved Burns – themed clock inside it, and the Stirling statue of Burns.

Comments(2)

  1. REPLY
    Gavin Millar says

    My dad and his mother rented the shop 73 Wallace Street (now a hairdressers) in the early 1950s – these premises were formerly David Bayne’s grocery business – dad and granny took it on as a short-lived branch of “S.Millar & Son” (Bakers and confectioners) so they got to know Miss “Teenie” Bayne (David Bayne’s daughter) quite well. She was a tour de force and not one to suffer fools gladly. It was one of her recollections that when her father first set up business in Stirling, he slept under the counter of his grocery shop. Eventually the business diversified into property development and much of the Bruce Street/Bayne Street area were constructed with their capital. I don’t know how much of Wallace Street and Union Street were part of their building stock but certainly the DB inscription is above no 73 on the top storey of the building. A humorous story related by “Teenie” Bayne was that on a particularly cold morning Mr Bayne was walking up Union Street when he passed a man by the name of Sharp. “Sharp morning , Mr Sharp” he greeted his fellow. “Cut ye to the bane, Mr Bayne” came the swift and equally playful reply! We still have the sack barrow which was found in the back shop and it has “DB” burnt into the wood. It must be a good age and I would be more than willing to donate it to the Smith if it would like it.

  2. REPLY
    Elspeth King says

    Thanks for your comments, Gavin and your generosity past and present towards the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum. We wll add the comments to the information on the photograph. We’re trying to reorganise at the moment, and are not in a position to accept your offer.

Post a comment