Passing Time

Happy New Year! A couple of days ago, many of us will have seen in 2013 to the bongs of Big Ben. Rather appropriately, Gareth Thomas from Lichfield District Council has found another fantastic document in his treasure trove, relating to our very own clock tower here in Lichfield, said to have been inspired by that famous London landmark. Gareth, in his characteristic generosity, has scanned it on and sent it over for me to share here. A while back I did another post on the Clock Tower (which you can read here), and it’s fantastic when more parts of the jigsaw come to light!

Entitled ‘ Agreement for sale and purchase of the Clock Tower situated in Saint John Street in the City of Lichfield’, the document describes how on 24th August 1927, the Lichfield Conduit Lands Trustees (some of their names will be familiar I’m sure!) agreed to sell the Clock Tower to the Mayor Alderman and Citizens of the City of Lichfield for £50. One of my favourite parts is where it states that:

‘any coins or other articles of value or antiquity which may be discovered shall be considered the property of the Trustees and shall be handed over to the Warden immediately they are found (sic)’

I wonder if they did find anything? And if so, did they hand it over?!

A plaque recording this event can be found on the Clock Tower:

The document can be seen by clicking on the PDF links below (it was too big to add as one whole document!)

Clock 1

Clock 2

Clock 3

Clock 4

As you may know,  the Clock Tower was erected in 1863, making it 150 years old this year. I think it would be fantastic if, as a celebration, we could give people  a closer look at the tower that they pass by and the clock that they hear each day, by opening it up to the public (I did go up Birmingham’s ‘Big Brum’ clock tower once so I don’t think it’s too harebrained an idea).

Here is a bona fide harebrained idea though – what about starting a new tradition of seeing in the New Year with the bongs of the Lichfield Clock Tower? I wonder if there are any records of people doing this in the past, when we didn’t have Jools Holland on the tellybox to see in the New Year with. Shall we make a date then?  New Year’s Eve 2013 in the Festival Gardens. I’ll bring some party poppers….

Sources:

http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/info/200161/tourism/760/heritage_trail/9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichfield_Clock_Tower

Gareth Thomas and his magical storeroom ;)

Malus John Downie

I’ve been going on about the Elford Pippin since before the summer, but a few days ago I noticed this at the Friary by the Festival Gardens in Lichfield.

First raised in Whittington in 1875

Another local apple. Unlike the Elford Pippin this one is still around. Actually, I looked for its ‘rich, orange red fruits’ today (it’s in season in October) but I couldn’t find any evidence of the tree at the Festival Gardens. However,  you can still buy it from all good tree shops! It was apparently raised by a Mr E Holmes at Whittington & was named after his friend and fellow nurseryman John Downie.  I hear that the apples are the finest of all crabs - good to eat when ripe and make an excellent jelly.

It seems quite an appropriate day to do this post, as there is an association between apples & Halloween. Along with apple bobbing, I can also remember being told that if I peeled an apple and threw the peel over my shoulder it would show me the initial of who I’d marry. I seem to recall doing this several times over until I got the initial I wanted…..There was something about sticking apple pips to your face as well!

I had thought aboutdoing a post about spooky goings on in the area, mainly because I wanted to do a post with the title ‘Witchfield’ ;) Sadly,  I ran out of time but if anyone does have any tales to share…….