Seaside resort honours veteran clock-winder

A pensioner has been honoured for winding a town centre clock for half a century.

Keith Fursdon, 67, first climbed up Mallock Tower in Torquay, Devon, in 1963, when he started his duties aged just 17.

Since then he has wound the clock and checked its time every week without fail.

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Mr Fursdon even plans his holidays around the clock, making sure he is never away for more than a week at a time.

The horologist’s hard work has now been recognised by Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver, who presented Mr Fursdon with a certificate of service.

Mr Fursdon, who is now retiring from his clock repair business, has pledged to carry on winding the clock for as long as he is able to.

He said: “My wife and I have never been away for more than a week at a time. I have always made sure that I wind up the Mallock Tower clock just before we go away and as soon as I can when we get back. I’m 67 now, but I plan to carry on as long as my legs still get me up and down ladders. I am fit, and I play a lot of bowls during the summer.”

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Mr Fursdon started work in March 1963 when he was an apprentice with Lloyd Richard jewellers.

He has never missed his weekly shift but was forced to take a break in 2010 when restoration work was carried out on the tower, which stands on Torquay’s harbourside.

Mayor Mr Oliver said: “Keith is a model of reliability, and I would like to thank him for continuing to make sure that the Mallock Tower clock and others around the bay, including our Town Hall clock in Castle Circus, continue to tick over nicely.

“He is always extremely helpful and friendly. We faced some problems a couple of years ago with the main Town Hall clock, and without his invaluable help and expertise I am not sure how we would have got it repaired.”

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Mr Fursdon, of Torquay, has also wound up clocks at Torre Abbey, St Mary Magdalene Church and St Mary the Virgin Church in the town.

Mallock Tower is named after Richard Mallock, a local magistrate and former Torquay Member of Parliament.

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