Llangollen Town Hall’s clock winder has decided that the time is right to hand over his role.

George Hughes' time as official clock winder has come to an end after six years.

Twice a week, the former town councillor and mayor has climbed the steep wooden stairs to the very top of the civic building in Castle Street to wind the complex heavy metal mechanism of the clock which dates back to 1886.

But, now into his 80s, he reckons the physical strain of the role has become a bit too much for him and has handed over the huge cast iron winding key to a younger person, Rob Edwards.

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George said: "I took on the unpaid job from Alan Maybury who had done it for a few years and I was shown what to do by the former town hall caretaker John Roberts, who had done it before him.

The Leader: The complex 136-year-old winding mechanism behind the clock face (image: Llanblogger)The complex 136-year-old winding mechanism behind the clock face (image: Llanblogger)

"I have been going up to the loft where the mechanism is every Tuesday and Friday to wind it up.

"There are two things that have to be wound - the clock itself and the bell which sounds with it. The whole machine, which is stamped with the name of its makers, Gillett & Co of Croydon, is a real work of art and I've thoroughly enjoyed operating it.

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"But even to reach the winding mechanism is a bit difficult. You have to climb up to the balcony, squeeze through a very small wooden door and then climb up a steep flight of narrow wooden stairs.

The Leader: Some of the old-fashioned pulleys which help control the clock (image: Llanblogger)Some of the old-fashioned pulleys which help control the clock (image: Llanblogger)

"The whole thing's very physical and has now got a bit too much for me, so I've handed over the role to someone younger."

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George, who served three terms on the council, was town mayor from 2007-2009 and spent 10 years as a retained firefighter based in the town, added: "I was terribly sorry to give it up but I wish Rob lots of luck with being the new clock winder.

"I've really enjoyed doing it over the past six years and used to go straight up to do the job after coming back off holidays.

"I'll now have a bit more time on my hands."