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Smith’s Dock’s Clock 1958

I do not think that clock ever stopped or lost time


The old Smiths Docks is a sorry sight today (2008) but in the good old days, it was a Godsend.

You never ever worried about sleeping in for school for at 7.30 am every morning without fail, the buzzer for the yard to start work blew. But also, if during the day you needed to know the time, it was a simple task of just jumping up on our back yard wall in Appleby Street and there in front of you was the Docks’ master clock, standing there as proud as punch.

If you ask a lot of seamen of a certain age, “How did you know you were in the Tyne?” their answer was always the same. As you came upriver there was Smiths’ master clock staring straight at you as if to welcome you home.

From being born in 1949 ‘til leaving Appleby Street in 1970, I do not think that clock ever stopped or lost time. If you stood on Collingwood’s Monument at Tynemouth or were on top of Penshaw Monument at Sunderland (with binoculars) along with a host of other places, the clock always stood out and could be seen.

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