There is a town clock erected in 1905 on the instruction of Isabella Bird in memory of her sister Henrietta who died of typhoid in Tobermory in 1880. Isabella was an adventuress, explorer, writer and first female fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She enjoyed ill health suffering from a range of psychogenic illnesses; when she was doing exactly what she wanted she was almost always as fit as a fiddle much in the way that golfers rarely feel off colour on a golf course – Disability Living Allowance has the same miraculous effect on some.
I confess I am not struck by the clock but I have seen worse. To mark the Millennium, my home town of Hale in Cheshire erected a clock of similar proportions, possibly the ugliest example of urban commemorative architecture in the country – take a look here – see what I mean – witch’s hat, a sky rocket, a celebration of twinning with Douglas on the Isle of Man? Coincidentally both Tobermory and Hale clocks are sited adjacent to fountains, the Hale example serving only to accentuate the ugliness of the other.