Timely surprise for the Johnstones

Morpeth Clock Tower  Michael Scott, grandson of the clock maker William Scott, visiting the clock tower with Mayor Phil Taylor. The re-painting of the clock in 1953 when three dots between the numbers were painted on instead of the usual four.

Morpeth Clock Tower Michael Scott, grandson of the clock maker William Scott, visiting the clock tower with Mayor Phil Taylor. The re-painting of the clock in 1953 when three dots between the numbers were painted on instead of the usual four.

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THERE was a pleasant surprise for a Morpeth family as members featured twice in last week’s Herald.

Brian Johnstone was expecting to see a report on Mitford Leek Club Show in the newspaper, in which he came second.

But he certainly didn’t reckon on seeing a picture of his late father John painting the timepiece of Morpeth Clock Tower in 1953.

The image featured in an article about the 75th anniversary of the clock, which will be honoured in a celebratory peal by bellringers at noon on Sunday, October 16.

Mr Johnstone had been employed as foreman of the paint department at the council when the re-painting of the clock face was ordered.

Brian said: “It was unexpected to see the photo in the paper, but it was a nice surprise. My brother noticed it as well. We were just expecting to see the leek club show, but the family were in twice.

“The picture is from 1953, but it was in the Herald in 2003 as well and we have copies of the paper from then.

“The thing that we were interested in is that our dad was standing on an ordinary ladder. Nowadays you would have to have a mechanical hoist, but he didn’t even have anybody holding the ladder at the bottom. Of course he was quite happy doing that, he wouldn’t think anything of it back then.”