Alan Wilson and his wife Brenda, on his retirement today, with the famous cuckoo from the first floral clock at West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. The floral clock continues to be maintained by James Ritchie clockmakers.
Today we bid a final farewell to Alan Wilson of James Ritchie & Son Edinburgh local clock repairers. Here Alan, reflects on his time at the local Scottish clock company part of Smith of Derby Clock restorers.
I’ve spent the majority of my working life caring for and conserving Scotland’s most prestigious and historically significant public clocks. My company, James Ritchie & Son of Edinburgh, became part of the Smith of Derby Group of clockmaking companies in November 2013 and was established over 200 years ago.
I’ve experienced a wonderful time as Ritchie’s Managing Director, making sure accurate time is kept on hundreds of clocks around Scotland, Northern England and Ireland.
Perhaps the most daunting decision I ever took, which I now recognise as the most important one, was joining Smith of Derby Group. While thinking this through I asked myself; would the partnership work and would we lose our James Ritchie and Son name and identity?
But retiring today, I leave my company and the employees I cherish in safe, professional and caring hands. The Smith of Derby Group is a dynamic family-owned company, focussed on maintaining and conserving our countries’ clockmaking history. It has a real concern for its customers, their communities and its skilled workforce.
On my retirement today, I retire content and happy in the knowledge that the name James Ritchie & Son will go on for many years to comes. It has been a pleasure working as part of the Smith of Derby team and I wish everyone all the best in the future.