Town clock stopped by legal dispute

RESIDENTS in the Royal Burgh of Whithorn have noticed that time has stood still for quite some time now with the hands of the town clock grinding to a halt at five to two several months ago.

The matter was discussed at last week’s meeting of the Whithorn community council but it seems that an alleged wrangle between former owners Dumfries and Galloway Council and new owner means that access to the mechanics of the historic clock is not possible at present.

Whithorn Community Council member said it was their belief that when the clock was sold the CC was to be allowed 24 hour access to the clock tower. The money from the sale was put into the ‘Common Good’ account that can be used to benefit the town.

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of this issue and are working to resolve it.

“The Council sold the property in May 2011. When the property was declared surplus by Wigtown Area committee, it agreed that the Council would remain responsible for maintaining the clock workings in all time coming. The sales particulars made it very clear that the Council would reserve a right of access for future maintenance of the clock workings. This was formalised in the contract of sale agreed by the purchaser’s solicitor and the Council’s Legal Services. The Council, therefore, has a formal right to enter the property to maintain the clock workings upon giving reasonable written notice in advance.”

The problem will be discussed again at this month’s meeting of Whithorn Community Council on Monday, February 25.