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Viewpoints Turn back the clocks for memories of landmarks.

ENTRANCED by the tribute to the late Soloman Andrew in the Roots exhibition in the Old Library, I wandered through the market to read the inscription relating to Cardiff's most legendary entrepreneur above the St Mary Street entrance.

My attention was then diverted to the two H Samuel clocks above it. Sadly, both have fallen into disuse and are in distressed conditions.

But I reflected that with much of our city becoming increasingly homogeneous, it would be heartening if these two uniquely different timepieces could be restored.

For many people they once played a special role in the city's culture as a favourite meeting spot. Although initial encounters might have been at a Sunday-night concert at the Capitol cinema, across a counter in Woolworths, over a shared bag of chips in Caroline Street, or even a stroll in one of our parks, on the first real date they often met "under the clock".

In my youth I occasionally stood in the market entrance like other hopefuls peering anxiously up at the time and nervously wondering if a date would turn up. Many who met there after a hard day's work in factories or shops undoubtedly went on to wed and bring up families.

So if the clocks were refurbished and their hands set in motion again not only would they perpetuate our local culture but also wind back time for those Cardiffians who shyly met their future partners beneath them.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 23, 2007
Words:240
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