South East Wales

Inspector's daughter returns clock to Gwent Police

Bettie Lewis hands over the clock
Image caption Bettie Lewis was delighted to be able to return the clock to Gwent Police

It has ticked on the walls of the Price family home for generations.

But now a 100-year-old clock presented to a police inspector upon his retirement in 1911 has been returned to Gwent Police.

The grand timepiece was given to Insp John Price as a thank you for 40 years' service, and he passed it on to his daughter Bettie Lewis.

Now 85, she has passed the clock back to the force, so it can go on display in Ebbw Vale police station.

The clock, which is ornate and can still tell the time, was originally presented by the justices and police of the Tredegar division as Insp Price left the then Monmouthshire constabulary in 1911.

That was three years before female policing was introduced and 26 years before the introduction of 999.

'Piece of history'

Ms Lewis now lives at the Rookery Care Home in Ebbw Vale, and was keen that the clock should be displayed properly.

She said: "Returning this clock back to Gwent Police gives me peace of mind that it will always be in safe hands.

"Officers will now get the opportunity to see a piece of history - a clock that has stood the test of time and actually still works.

"This has been part of my family for years and has been very well looked after. I'd like to think that the clock, which has meant so much to us all will continue to be as important to Gwent Police as it has to my family."

She enlisted the help of local councillor Mostyn Lewis on one of his visits to the retirement home.

He told BBC Wales: "I remember Bettie and her father from when they had a Post Office in Badminton Grove in Ebbw Vale all those years ago when I was a small boy.

"While we were talking one day Bettie mentioned this clock and said it was presented to her father and that she would like to have it given back to the police station as a mark of respect rather than it be thrown out in a skip.

"The clock needs some repair, although it is in very good condition for its age.

"It still keeps time, it just needs some workmanship to tidy it up and to get the mechanism working - we were quite surprised by the quality of it."

Superintendent for Blaenau Gwent local policing unit Mark Warrender promised to look after the clock and said he had visited Ms Lewis to thank her personally for the "kind gesture".

He said: "The clock will now take pride of place in Ebbw Vale station - along with some other pieces of policing memorabilia from the past.

"It will be very well looked after and appreciated. We're privileged to have this piece of history within our working environment."

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