A Good Chuckle

Last updated : 16 October 2008 By SkyDaz

I have no idea what the word is for someone who finds clocks amusing or fascinating (horologist?) but there are at least two of us, plus the guy who made it who deep down finds his own clocks funny. But for me I've never laughed at a clock before.

I was in Prague town centre a few years ago, obliterated on Absinthe, when the famous Astronomical Clock played its merry tune with little figures dancing round and despite the flash of photography and the awe of the tourists I still failed to find it amusing. Pretty, quaint but not amusing. Not like the Jeff Hall Clock.

Obviously I don't remember seeing Jeff Hall play but my dear old dad regaled me with stories and the legend was handed down. I always liked the strange shaped clock that bore his name and used to sit between the Kop and The Railway, I liked checking the half time scores using the programme and a combination of letters and numbers. Certainly better than the mumbled drivel we get now (I know, I know, get closure Daz get closure!).

If you are reading this you should know what I am talking about but just in case you have been fortunate enough to miss some home games I will describe it to you.

Every house over forty years old has a mantelpiece above the main fireplace. On that mantelpiece sits a clock and it's normally one of those with a small white face, Roman numerals and a spinning device that goes one way and then the next and the whole contraption sits in a glass dome. This glass dome is particularly prone to flying objects during a game of house football. I think I've broken three. I didn't confess to any of them though and if my younger brother reads this then I am about to be on the end of some longstanding retribution.

Now take that clock face and imagine it 75 foot in the air and placed in the middle of the roof of the Main Stand. I couldn't tell the time when it sat ten foot in front of me when I was on the sofa so in its current elevated position I did the only thing that suited the moment. I laughed like a demented madman on nitrous oxide. Just like the guy next to me.

The club meanwhile have been sufficiently embarrassed by criticism to take the carriage clock face back to the manufacturer and demand that it is increased in size to a more appropriate diameter. I am no watchmaker but I struggle to see how something that is made can be unmade and increased. Unless he is really talented. Apparently there are also rules on how big the clock can be for something screwed to the hoardings of a Main Stand.

So perhaps we should have a competition to see who can suggest the best way of making the Jeff Hall Memorial Clock more visible. We will assume that the current clock cannot be dramatically increased in a Honey I blew Up the Clock style from its present size.

My own entry for what it's worth is to simply increase the backboard that holds the clock and then screw on two gigantic comedy fluorescent fingers, visible from Selfridges. Over time it will become as iconic to passing traffic as the Angel of the North.

Just like Field of Dreams, build it and they will come.

Keep right on. Has anyone got the right time? Or even the wrong time?