There is a town clock erected in 1905 on the instruction of Isabella Bird in memory of her sister Henrietta who died of typhoid in Tobermory in 1880. Isabella was an adventuress, explorer, writer and first female fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She enjoyed ill health suffering from a range of psychogenic illnesses; when she was doing exactly what she wanted she was almost always as fit as a fiddle much in the way that golfers rarely feel off colour on a golf course – Disability Living Allowance has the same miraculous effect on some.
I confess I am not struck by the clock but I have seen worse. To mark the Millennium, my home town of Hale in Cheshire erected a clock of similar proportions, possibly the ugliest example of urban commemorative architecture in the country – take a look here – see what I mean – witch’s hat, a sky rocket, a celebration of twinning with Douglas on the Isle of Man? Coincidentally both Tobermory and Hale clocks are sited adjacent to fountains, the Hale example serving only to accentuate the ugliness of the other.
We were there in March and I am finally getting round to writing about the town and then the splendid golf course that sits high on the hill with its breathtaking panoramic views. The relationship with the kids programme Balamory is well known but how did the town end up with the distinctive variegated building colours. Is it pure chance or is there intervention, divine or otherwise? The choice of colours works well but if they were all the red of the building adjacent to the Mishnish you would run kicking and screaming from the town. The task for this week is to talk to Tobermory Planning Department if such exists.
June 21st update – I give in – nobody is responding so I will avoid the issue altogether and confine myself to: Tobermory is the home of the children’s TV series Balamory although this association has completely passed me by. I was raised on Watch with Mother whilst my own offspring moved on to more ‘serious’ offerings sometime after Postman Pat was top of the bill. Fortunately they were all born too early to suffer the speech impeded Telletubbies, creatures whose pointy heads suggest something more practical than unintelligible utterances. Golf ball retrievers?