Glasgow & West Scotland

Mackintosh clocks to tick again at Glasgow Art School

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Media captionThe project to clean, repair and restart the 19 clocks has taken almost a year to complete

A unique system of clocks designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is to be reinstated in Glasgow School of Art.

The 19 distinctive square studio clocks are linked to a master clock which should send an electrical pulse ensuring they all show the same time.

But the system failed decades ago and the clocks have not worked since.

Now a £16,000 grant has allowed the system to be repaired, and the clocks should be keeping time again within weeks.

It has taken a year to restore the "master and slave" clock system to its former glory.

The Archives and Collections Centre at the School of Art was awarded funding of £16,800 from Museums Galleries Scotland to help pay for the project.

Image caption The clocks are controlled by a master clock - a system which in 1910 highly innovative

The clock system, designed and installed by Mackintosh in 1910, was a rare and important technical innovation at the time.

Unlike conventional clocks of the time, there was no need for winding and the whole system was low maintenance.

Horologist Nick Sanders, who worked on the project, said: "What's special about it is, before this time, clocks had to be wound up and adjusted every week.

"Every clock in the college here would have to be wound by hand, some by key, so they could have been five minutes, ten minutes out.

"With this system they all move together, they are all very precise and very, very accurate."

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