Saturday 2 March 2024

Jesus, would you look at the time

It's that time of the month again - Photo Challenge Club. For our 15th instalment I was asking for timepieces. I always find myself having to catch my breath when I put these collections together. And this month is no exception. Thank you to everyone for taking the time. Literally.

As is customary, Rol gets to cut the cake first - "Here you go, John, the clocktower of Barnsley Town Hall, complete with a suitably ominous sky to represent the town that almost broke me. Clearly I was lying in the gutter when I took this photo."

"I did go up into the clock tower once, in happier times." I love this one, Rol. Behind the face.

Another newbie: Pete Zab is a very talented photographer from Nottingham. His work is all over Twitter. "Taken a few years ago on the Harry Potter set at Warner Bros. studio in Leavesden, just ouside Watford." Cheers, Pete, and welcome aboard.
Ernie Goggins makes a welcome return "A clocktower in Muscat taken about five years ago when I was working there for a few weeks." That sky is an amazing shade of blue.

The Swede goes back in time: "The young me, taken by my dad in 1965."

"The elderly version was taken by my cousin's husband last year; we were about eight miles into an epic walk through London." Amazing, TS. As you probably know, I'm a huge fan of this type of time lapse photography. Thank you. 

James was recently in Budapest and sent me this from a gallery he'd frequented.

A bit of background.

A quartet from Riggsby. The first harks back to his time in Germany: "This was the view from the kitchen window from the flat when I lived in Heidelberg. I nicknamed it our kitchen clock."

"This clock stands proudly to commemorate 50 years of the Rotary Club in Del Mar. I pass it on my way home from the office. We've had a lot of rain recently and this was taken between storms."

Richard goes on to say: "Do hourglasses count?" Yep, they most certainly do.

And finally, Geddy Lee Riggsby signs off with "It's five o'clock somewhere." (I was looking for a yard arm but it must be out of shot.)

Jo-Shreeve's photos are always thought provoking "An empty Paddington station at 5.20am after getting the sleeper train from Cornwall xx." Thank you, Jo.

Someone else I follow on Twitter - Tim Widdowson from Notts is next up: "Here's a couple, John. St. Paul's taken from the Rotunda (just realised you'd be unlikely to see the clock from ground level)." 

"And the Courts of Justice on Fleet Street." Two very contrasting skies - thanks, Tim. A great brace to start. Come back next month, won't you?

David Cooper is currently in India. Are there any timepieces over there on the subcontinent, I enquired? "Yes there are John. Have chosen this one. I spent a while waiting to get a shot without the general public in it but was never going to happen. Sealdah Station in Kolkata at 7.08 am. David." This is a superb photo, Coops. And all the better, I think, for having people in the frame.

C from Sun Dried Sparrows next - "This pic should really have been taken on a sunny day! If you look closely you might just be able to work out the time it was taken - a very faint shadow pointing to 1pm. It's on the front wall of a building near me - a sheltered housing complex for older people; not that the residents would probably choose to be constantly reminded of the passing of time! C x." I love it, C. And our only sundial in the collection.

Adam from Manchester - "Hi John, two clocks for you. The first one is our kitchen clock photographed recently with some strange shadows. A fairly monochrome shot to begin with, I later filtered into B&W for more monochrome!"

"Second one is the giant clock inside Mex taken by Baz, a friend of mine. The venue hasn't been used for gigs for years, but in the past New Order, Kraftwerk, Pixies, Happy Mondays have all played here." Thanks, Adam. I've only ever shot the outside of the GMex, never been in. Thank you.

Chartity Chic: "Hi John, George Wylie's Running Clock opposite Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall on a wet Killermont Street."

"And a more sedated offering from Bridge of Allan." Cheers, CC.

Alyson signing in from the Highlands: "I'll start with an old one. It's a view of the astronomical clock in Prague from the window of a restaurant across the road. This was taken in the early 90s not long after the wall came down so we experienced much of how it was during the Communist Bloc era. I'll regale you with the stories one day." I'll be all ears at BC24, Alyson.

"My second one I took earlier this month. It's the frontage of a shop in our local Victorian Market. In addition to the little clocks and watches I particularly like the sign writer's wording - 'All repairs executed by practical workmen'. We wouldn't want them to be impractical, now would we?!" Great shots, Alyson.

Khayem comes with four perfectly formed quadruplets and kicks off with a genre I think needs further exploration - timepieces in album (and singles) artwork. "A much loved and much played OMD 12” single from 1985 which features lots of 80s artefacts, including a clock!"

"The clock tower in Coleford, in the heart of the Forest of Dean, is reasonably big but looks even more intimidating with this extreme angle at the base." 

"This one in Gloucester town high street is a beauty, not least for its ornate metalwork, the weather vane above, the bell below, the characters below that and then at street level, the fabulous shop. Jewellers and opticians, you say?"

"This relatively tiny clock tower is in Stroud town centre, opposite the Subscription Rooms, where I’ve enjoyed a few fine gigs in the past year." A great collection, K. I particularly like the one above Baker's. It reminds me of the Lewis & Grundy clock in Nottingham (see below).

Rob never disappoints. This one landed in my inbox just as I was about to hit 'publish'! - "Here you go, John - a dolphin clock in a Dawlish charity shop!" Excellent, Rob!

Time (sorry) for me to wrap things up. Hopewells of Nottingham is a magnificent furniture store in the town that's been going since forever. I love its simple clock face against the brick facade.

As mentioned above, this is the quirky clock residing on the Lewis & Grundy building on Nottingham's Victoria Street. The two blacksmiths would strike out the quarter hours and hours by striking the anvil. But alas no longer.

I live but a five minute walk from the bus stop at the top of my road. This finely crafted gizmo that lives in my kitchen means I can leave the house at just the right time thus minimising any 'hanging around at bus stops'. Since James designed and built this for me it's been a game changer.

Regular readers will know I love caffs; formica, gingham tablecloths - my idea of heaven. This is on Daleside Road in Cowlick. Half caff, half truck stop - I love it. 

Any Totnesians out there will recognise this straight away. Halfway up (or down) Fore Street is this magnificent clock that straddles the road. Oh, and I love using fish-eye lenses.

One of my favourite buildings in Dublin. I think I've mentioned it before around these parts. Its construction, demolition and subsequent reconstruction is quite the story.  

More formica and more gingham; though sadly gone now. Victoria Centre Indoor Market was once home to half a dozen caffs. When the Market closed a little part of me died with it.

I've got shedloads of photos of St. Pancras Stain but I think we did that one last time. Instead here's King's Cross, next door. Taken from the window seat of one of my favourite Chinese restaurants directly opposite. 

And there you have it. Time to call time. Thank you again to everyone who sent me their fantastic photos. I couldn't do this without you. Till next time. J x


  1. Some great pics there John
    You must have spent a lot of time pulling them together!

    1. They are, aren't they?

      It's a labour of love, CC. Not a chore at all.

  2. I've noticed in The Swede's photos that Big Ben has tilted dramatically to the left since 1965. Presumably there is some geological reason?

    1. That's the Swede for you. The tectonic plates are quite literally shifting beneath his feet.

  3. What a superb collection of photos John. It’s growing arms and legs this series too, so hats off to you for pulling it all together for our delectation.

    1. You guys make the bullets, Alyson; I'm just firing the gun.

  4. Lovely stuff. I'm a big fan of the Hopewells clock, great piece of 60s modernism.

    1. Cheers, Adam. Yep, it's something of a landmark in the city. Keeps good time too.

  5. Excellent as always.

    Impressed by how many contributors you get these days... though I still don't know why I get the honour of going first, when I'm no'but an amateur.

    1. Ain't that always the way with traditions, no-one remembers how they started. Amateur? Yeah, right.

  6. Lovely stuff, every one of them engaging and different. I was in Cambridge recently for a hospital appointment and if only I'd had time - there's that word again - I wish I could have taken a detour into town to get you a photo of the beautifully bizarre Corpus Clock - I wrote about it here (but the photo isn't mine and I didn't want to cheat!) I think you'd love it.
    Thanks as always for putting this together so well and for inspiring us with your themes, always a pleasure to see the results!

    1. And now I must visit the Time Eater. What a fascinating (time)piece of horological art. I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like it. (Consults map to find quickest way to Cambridge.)

  7. 'Walk, don't walk': zebras, pelicans, crosswalks. Road crossings - April's Photo Challenge. By the 1st, please.