When time stood still

Dianne Dempsey | Bendigo Weekly | 13-Jan-2017

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Bendigo citizens who have wished that time could stand still had their dream come true on Monday when the former Bendigo Post Office clock stopped.

For more than 24 hours the time was 5.10 and we were given an extra day of life.

But the man in charge of time in Bendigo, Stephen Young, climbed into the clock tower on Tuesday morning and started the iconic clock once more.

 Mr Young said the clock was the last one in Bendigo to run on original mechanical parts as well as electronic parts which have been added over the years.

 “What happened last week was that the bolts holding the old and new sections of the clock’s workings came loose,” he said.

 ”It was a matter of climbing into the clock tower and doing physical repairs.”

 But access to the post office clock is not always easy.

 “The only way I can climb up there is by walking through the main court and through to the judge’s chambers, where the staircase is situated,” he said.

 “This means I often have to get up there before the court sits.”

 Mr Young who also has responsibility for all the other tower clocks in Bendigo is particularly proud of the post office clock.     

 “It’s been operating since 1880 and over the years society has made more and more demands on it,” he said. “As a mechanical clock it has been expected to keep perfect time.  

 “Of course the person who made the biggest demand on the clock was Dame Nellie Melba who demanded that the clock stop striking during the night.

 “As it’s a 12 hour clock that was an extremely hard adaptation but the clock makers did a great job, it still doesn’t chime in the night.”

 As for the electronic side of the clock Mr Young carries a remote control device around with him in his pocket to alter the clock.

“It’s similar to pointing your car keys at your car, only I’m pointing at the clock,” Mr Young said.

  

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