A descendant of the builders of Machynlleth’s iconic clock says the town’s plans to mark its 150th anniversary are a year too late.
Gareth Jones, who is a descendant of the two brothers who built Machynlleth town clock, says that the 150th anniversary should have been celebrated last month, not next year.
Writing to the Cambrian News, Mr Jones said: “Much has been said in recent months about the 150th anniversary of Machynlleth’s town clock being next year because there was a delay in laying the foundation stone owing to a bereavement in the Londonderry family.
“There may well be some validity in that and I personally see no reason to enter in to a dispute about it.
“However, two things are certain.
“Firstly, the plaque on the town clock clearly states it was erected in 1873 to mark the coming of age of Viscount Castlereagh on 15 July that year .
“And secondly, there is absolutely no doubt at all that the people of Machynlleth celebrated the town clock’s centenary in July 1973, not 1974. They even elected a Town Clock Centenary Queen, and my late mother produced a booklet of poems, to celebrate that milestone.
“Furthermore, the BBC radio series Down Your Way recorded a programme from Machynlleth in 1977 and made reference to the clock’s centenary as being in 1973.
“So either the people of Machynlleth, including my mother (a great granddaughter of one of the brothers who built the clock), were a completely ignorant and uneducated bunch in 1973, or they were not.
“Personally, given the choice, I would much prefer to believe those people who lived their entire lives in the shadow of the clock and had the town’s history passed down to them from one generation to the next, rather than listen to those who may have their roots elsewhere and are merely getting their ‘facts’ from textbooks or the internet.
“If it was good enough for the people of Machynlleth to mark their town clock’s centenary in 1973, then it’s good enough for me too.
“It’s just a terrible shame the clock isn’t functioning so was unable to chime out in celebration of its 150th birthday on 15 July.
“Many happy returns to Machynlleth’s town clock on reaching its 150th birthday on 15 July 2023.”
Repair work is currently being carried out on the clock, which has not chimed for the past three years.
The work is expected to be completed in September at a cost of £55,000.