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The veterans and family members of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Association held their annual service in the Covenanters’ Prison, Greyfriars Kirkyard last Saturday. The annual service starts at one o’ clock as the time gun fires from the Castle. In June 1861, supervised by Master Gunner Findlay a detachment from the regiment which was garrisoned at the Castle moved one of the twelve pounders from the Argyle Battery to the Half Moon Battery as the twenty four pounder standing next to the flagpole had failed to fire on the 7th and the 8th . The firing of the daily time signal which finally took place on 9th June proved successful and has continued to this day.

Lyttelton Time Ball

Lyttelton Time Ball

Restored to its original colours since it was destroyed by an earthquake seven years ago, the time ball has now been returned to the Lyttelton skyline. The site will be landscaped and the history of the time ball added as soon as the scaffolding is taken down and the heavy machinery removed. Lighting will feature in completed project which is funded by a m donation from Landmark Incorporated plus funding from the Lottery Grants Board, Holcim, Stout Trust and Parkinson Memorial Park Trust. image credit Heritage New Zealand. Further details on



The members of the Cameronians Regimental Association will be holding their annual commemoration service in the Covenanters’ Prison, Greyfriars Kirkyard on Saturday, 1st July at one o’ clock. Originally raised as the Cameronian Guard by the Lords of the Convention, the regiment was named after the followers of Richard Cameron a Presbyterian minister. The Convention declared that James was no longer King of Scotland, and offered the crown jointly to William and Mary. In March 1689, three Scottish regiments in the service of the Dutch king arrived in Edinburgh, and the forces raised to protect the Convention were dismissed. The following month, a regiment recruited from the Cameronians was raised by James, Earl of Angus. 1200 men are said to have enlisted in a single day, without the need for ‘the beat of drum’ or a bounty being paid. The regiment was divided into twenty companies. In addition to the regimental chaplain each of the companies had an elder. image credit Wikimedia Commons

Millennium Exhibition

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The Calton Hill management plan proposed by Edinburgh World Heritage has been approved by the City of Edinburgh Council. Adequate resources, both in terms of people and funding will be provided to ensure that the plan to improve the area will continue into the future. The proposal for the restoration of the city observatory which was supported by the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and the One o’ Clock Gun Association during a meeting of the Calton Hill Stakeholders has proved to be an important step in improving the facilities and the public’s interest in the history of the area and the city’s time service. The One o’ Clock Gun Millennium Exhibition set up on the Mills Mount Battery at Edinburgh Castle for three months in collaboration with Historic Scotland is still running, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Landscaping the Observatory

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The photograph shows the landscaping work which is presently being carried out in the grounds of the Calton Hill observatory. Now that the landscaping is nearing completion, residents of Edinburgh with an interest in the city’s history can’t wait to see inside the building where so much important scientific work was carried out. Astronomers and historians with an interest in the history of timekeeping will flocking to the observatory from all over the world when the doors finally open to see the telescopes, clocks and scientific instruments.

Guernsey Blomefield Gun

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Although the Blomefield gun was standard issue on naval vessels, the guns were also used by the military. Two thirty pounders were set up in Castle Cornet, Guernsey in 1826. By 1870 the garrison had nine guns. Known as the curfew gun, a nine pounder was fired at noon and at 21.30 to recall the soldiers back to barracks. It was later replaced by an eighteen pounder. Although the signal was discontinued in 1923 it was re-introduced in 1974 as the ceremony of the noon day gun.  image credit Guernsey Museums & Galleries

Observatory Landscaping

Observatory panorama

The gardeners are now working on the landscaping of the observatory compound which may indicate that the buildings will soon be open to the public. The photograph which was taken from the North Bridge shows that scaffolding has now been set up around the prison governor’s house, presumably to repoint and clean the stonework.

Schiedam City Hall

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In July 1820 the ‘Dirk Van Heering’ of Schiedam in the Netherlands docked at the port of Leith. The captain Thomas Bowling took his chronometer up to the transit house on the Calton Hill. He was not admitted to the small building. The keeper did not know the rate of the clock or the difference between the mean and apparent time. The clock was also five minutes fast. Captain Bowling took his chronometer to the Albyn Club in Princes Street which had a transit instrument and a nautical almanac. image credit Wikimedia Commons

David Rintoul

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A tree dedicated to the memory of David Rintoul a member of the One o’ Clock Gun Asscn will be planted on Bruntsfield Links on Friday 25th May at 6.00 pm. In addition to being the chairman of the Tollcoss Community Council and running ‘The Tollcross Times’, David was a keen golfer. Guests are invited to return to the Golf Tavern following the ceremony.
image credit Liz Summerfield.

Waverley Station

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From the storehouse standing on the building site, the line was carried to the steep rocky spur beneath the Calton Jail. Pulling the rope up the spur, the riggers suspended the cable across Waterloo Place before carrying it to the foot of the Nelson Monument where it was hauled up to a window just below the second gallery. image credit ‘Old and New Edinburgh’ by James Grant.