The Central Square clock
In the 1980s Hamish Smith had the idea of a mantle clock chiming
"Teribus", and the 1992 move to East Bank House provided the perfect
location for a unique automaton turret clock.
This feature of Hawick town centre has been of great interest to local people and visitors alike.
Four horsemen, dressed as for Hawick Common
Riding, were modelled by Hamish Smith for the new clock.
The horsemen in action
These horsemen ride round the base of the clock
every 15 minutes, to the tune of "Teribus"
The completed clock
It took a crane, some scaffolding, and a few
grunts from Tosh Scott - but the clock was eventually put into
The clock 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".
The automaton mechanism, housed within the watertight interior of the case, uses a converted car windscreen wiper motor
and bicycle gearing components!
This provides a near maintenance free system, beautiful in its simplicity.
The clock was completely designed and constructed in Hawick and all materials 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.
Notes on materials used
The clock itself
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.
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
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
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.
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.