Gertie and her baby daughter, were home alone in their cottage in the Vale of Clywdd. Arthur was away working at the colliery down the Gap Road. It was a welcome diversion from the young mother’s daily routine when the old Indian hawker Ali Khan called by in his horse drawn waggon. She was hoping to buy a new clock.
“I have recently received a shipment from the Ansonia Company in America of some very handsome chiming mantle clocks. They have very efficient brass movements,” advised the man.
Gertie chose a manogany coloured clock with an attractive pattern carved into the case. The pendulum was a gleaming golden colour and the spring mechanisn was calibrated to maintain the time for 28 days without rewinding with the huge old brass key.
For the next forty years the clock sat on the mantlepiece over the fire in the lounge room. Arthur never missed rewinding it on the last Sunday of every month. In later years, the 6 pm chimes of the clock would signal it was time for the family to be quiet as Arthur turned on the radiogram to listen to the ABC news.
Many years after my Grandfather’s death, my Aunt kindly passed the clock on to me. At some point in time the spring had broken and it now needs to be rewound once a week. The sound of its chimes bring back many happy childhood memories of times spent visiting my Grandfather. It now has pride of place on a cabinet in my home.