About 25 years ago Hamish Smith had the idea of a mantle clock chiming "Teribus". The jeweller's business, established in 1971, moved into the new premises at East Bank House in 1992 (across from the famous Horse Monument) providing the perfect location for a unique automation turret clock to become part of the new shop frontage - thus providing a feature of great interest to both local people and visitors alike.

Three horses and riders representing the Hawick Common Riding Cornet and his Right and Left Hand Men are seen… resplendent in their full Common Riding Regalia of green coats, top hats, boots and rosettes… the horses with bridles, stirrups and saddles… every quarter hour moving to the strains of "Teribus"!

Whilst the clock is absolutely original, it was partly inspired by the "Binns" clock in Princes Street, Edinburgh.

The clock itself was completely designed and constructed in Hawick and all materials were sourced locally.

A combination of the finest possible materials, modern techniques and expert workmanship has produced a clock in which the delicacy and fine details belie the fact that it was constructed to withstand the elements for many decades.

The clock itself was constructed by Tosh Scott in his workshop at Trinity Street, Hawick.   "Hamish", says Tosh, "is an assumer:  he dreams up a plan and assumes that I can put it into practice".

Best quality 1" marine plywood was used to provide a strong sub-structure. This was then strengthened and enhanced with the finest seasoned mahogany. The wood was then treated with modern preservatives and finished with the latest "breathable" high tech varnish. The roof was constructed using eight contoured templates of 1" marine plywood with 1" lathes to give strength.

Traditional lead was applied to the roof by an expert craftsman. The case is attached to the wall above the shop and is supported by massive steel brackets. The three backlit dials are opalescent Perspex and feature traditional Roman numerals. The devices on the dial corners, depicting hawthorn branches, and the dials themselves, which are protected by laminated bandit glass, were achieved using a vinyl transfer technique. Very technical but also incredibly fascinating.

The automaton mechanism, housed within the watertight interior of the case, uses a converted car windscreen wiper motor and bicycle gearing components!   According to Hamish, this provides a near maintenance free system, beautiful in its simplicity.

The horses themselves are in glass reinforced resin with their "tack" crafted in pewter. The riders were individually crafted in steel and brass, clothed in pewter and hand carved resins, then hand enamelled. 

The horses move with a jaunty cantering action in a circular path and are housed out of sight in the base of the clock case, appearing only during each quarter hour chiming between 9am and 7pm.


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The mechanical 8 day clock mechanism, which plays the chiming of the "Teribus" chorus and controls the switching of the automata, is situated within the shop and the chimes are piped by a special microphone via an amplifier to a weather proof loud speaker housed in a clock case. It is an incredible addition to the beautiful and historic features of Hawick and well worthy a visit to see this unique creation at work.

More about the craftsmanship of Hamish Smith»

© Hamish D Smith 2006