5 Southgate Street
Gloucester GL1 1TG
One of Gloucester’s landmarks, Baker’s Jewellers (Est. 1850) mechanical clock, is right in the centre of town where Southgate Street leaves The Cross. Above the shop, framed in an arch, are five painted, life-sized figures.
Erected in the Edwardian era, four of the figures represent the nations making up Great Britain and are dressed in national costume. Each figure has a bell in front of them which they strike on the quarter hours. In the centre is Old Father Time holding a rope which he pulls to toll the hour. In front of him is a large hour glass.
The figure on the left is Ireland, dressed in green and holding a harp; next to her is John Bull in a top hat, representing England. On the right hand side of Old Father Time is a kilted piper representing Scotland and next to him a lady with a conical hat representing Wales.
Despite extensive research the writer has been unable to discover the reason for the erection of this wonderful clock. During this period in Gloucester’s history the city was an important British manufacturing centre and inland port. Perhaps the Clock was a symbol of civic pride.
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