The clock on one of the town’s most historic buildings is chiming again after its mechanism was replaced.
The restoration to the clock on the Tolbooth is the final stage of a project which will see the parapet around the clocktower being opened to the public as a tourist attraction.
The mechanism was replaced by clockmakers Smiths of Derby and George Alexander, chairman of the Forres Heritage Trust which owns the building said it was great to hear the clock chiming again.
He said: “This is the final stage in a huge project to get the clocktower open to the public sometime next spring. The clock is 183 years old and the chiming mechanism, which dates from the mid twentieth century had been struggling valiantly for several years but it was time that it was replaced. The old mechanism couldn’t be repaired and clearly, a clock of this age requires a special skillset and the technician from Smiths of Derby has done a tremendous job.
“The tolbooth is a central landmark in the town and having a chiming clock is part of its history and nostalgia although I am not sure shoppers expected to hear it chime 19 times in a row, which is what happened when it was being tested last week!”
Before the clock was fixed, safety barriers had been installed around the walkway on the clocktower.
The whole development has also included tearing out an old wooden staircase which gives access to the parapet and installing a new one and making safe the stonework and walkway around the clocktower.
George added: “The clocktower project is now complete. Now the Trust will be working over the winter to come up with a plan about how we can now open the parapet to the public. This has never been done before and we know there are many people who really want to experience it.
The Trust received three grants to help progress the project. £11,301.60 was secured from The Beatrice Partnership Fund, £20,000 from the Berry Burn Community Fund and £9375 from the Moray Council via the Town Centre Regeneration Fund.