PEEBLEANS are being asked to step back in time to solve the mystery of a historic clock thought to be built from old Tweed Bridge timber.

As time marches on, the questions ticking in Alastair Clyde’s head are the origins of an unusual long case clock he inherited from his grandmother when she died in 1977.

Alastair works as a solicitor and lives in Edinburgh, but both his parents, Gavin Clyde and Ruth (nee Aitken) were from Peebles and his grandparents Ann and Hugh Clyde lived in Gladstone Place.

“I have often wondered about the clock’s origins”, says Alastair. “The story in the family was that the wood was salvaged from the old Tweed Bridge in Peebles. The clock mechanism was made by a firm in Leith but the wood is clearly very old.

“The Clydes, including my grandfather, were in the building trade and they may have been among the contractors working on the bridge.”

According to Wikipedia, the bridge was widened between 1897 and 1900 so it is possible that Alastair’s great grandfather, James Clyde, was involved in the work.

“It may have been that old wood from the bridge was recovered at that time. The original medieval bridge was wooden with stone facing,” explained Alastair.

The understanding within the family is that there may have been several clocks made from the wood, and Alastair hopes his story will chime in the memory of locals who perhaps hold the key to winding up this clockwork mystery.

The clock has a carving of the Peebles coat of arms and bears the initials ‘JC’, possibly standing for James Clyde.

The saying goes that time is precious, and this clock is just that to Alastair who says it brings back fond childhood memories.

“My grandfather died in 1967 and I can still remember him winding it up and trying to get it working. I remember it never kept particularly good time even then, in fact it must be about 40 years since the clock mechanism actually worked.”

Alastair is hoping Peebles’ historians will be able to answer his questions before the mysterious clock and its origins drive him cuckoo! If you have any information please drop him an email: