Time is standing still for Inverness shoppers as they await a landmark city centre clock to come back to life.
Generations of visitors to the Eastgate Shopping Centre have enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Noah’s Ark clock for 40 years.
But, perhaps in a sign of age, it has been silent with the hands stuck at noon (or midnight) since last week due to a fault.
As the centre counts down to the busy Christmas shopping period it is waiting for a fix.
Specialist clock repairers in England are to provide and install new fuses.
Eastgate clock will be running again as soon as possible
Eastgate manager Chris Kershaw said he has a personal reason for wanting the clock working normally again.
“Due to the nature and age of the equipment the parts have to be constructed, brought up and installed by a company in England.
“It means it takes longer for the clock to be ready.
“It’s frustrating for us, but we will have it back up and running as soon as we can.
“It’s something people look out for.
“I have a five-year-old daughter and when she comes into the centre it’s what she wants to see, so she’s pushing hard for it to come back.”
The clock was installed when the centre was built in 1983.
Since then it has been a popular gathering place for parents and children as the clock bursts into life on the hour.
One of the centre’s most popular attractions
Objects and figures become animated and the chimes play animal-themed tunes. The repertoire includes the Ugly Duckling, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Run Rabbit Run, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Little Donkey.
At midday, the clock is at its most lively with an extended display.
Over the years, it has become one of the most popular attractions in the centre.
But Eastgate bosses advise on the centre’s website that anyone making a special trip to see it the clock to call ahead. Due to its age, “the delicate mechanisms can sometimes be temperamental”.
The Eastgate centre is the largest shopping mall in the Highlands and attracts shoppers from across the region.
In 2021 it lost its biggest store when Debenhams closed.
Earlier this year it was ruled out as a potential location for a new music venue to replace the Ironworks.
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