Stabroek Market clock could tell right time
Needs six months work, expert says
Stabroek News
October 31, 2003

Related Links: Articles on Stabroek Repairs
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Museum expert attached to the Smithsonian Institution, David Shayt feels that the four dials (faces) of the Stabroek Market clock could be made to tell the right time by either using the original machine or a new electronic system.

David Shayt told reporters at the handing over of the Barraud clock - the oldest in the country - to the High Court on Wednesday that “the dials themselves are in good condition”.

The Stabroek Market clock has four big dials; the biggest in the country and people tend to think of the clock as the dials. Shayt said people never think that inside the clock is a big machine. He feels that having the original machine “is less important” than a proper method of turning the hands so they tell the right time.

The great challenge ahead for the Stabroek Market clock, he said, is either to use the original machine or a new electronic system — electrical motors behind each of the four dials.

The clockmaker attached to the Smithsonian Institution who repaired the Stabroek Market clock in 1990 said that the clock needs “very serious servicing.” He said that many of the parts are worn out and a lot of rust had gathered on them.

It would take about six months of constant work to get it back to its proper working condition, he said.

Todd feels that after the clock was repaired it was not properly serviced and because of where it sits, exposed to the elements, it suffered “from the wonderful Guyana weather, the lovely onshore wet [and] salty breeze [which] attacked the steel and made it rusty.”

He said that the clock really needs to be kept in a cupboard and the authorities should build a new cupboard which would protect it from the elements and have it restored.

He also said that some of the problems could also be attributed to the age of the clock.

The Stabroek Market clock was installed at the time the market was opened in November, 1881. (Miranda La Rose)