Iconic Edinburgh floral clock missing hands for first time since 1903

The iconic floral clock in Edinburgh is missing its hands for the first time since 1903 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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The finishing touches were being made to the colourful living display, on the corner of Princes Street, by gardener David Dorward.

But for the first time in the clock's history it is missing its hands, as they were sent for repairs in Derby before the lockdown.

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The second hand was introduced in 1904, a year after the feature was initially created.

David Dorward, Head gardener for Edinburgh City Council puts the final touches to Princes Street Gardens Floral Clock. Paying tribute to Key Workers and the NHS. June 15 2020David Dorward, Head gardener for Edinburgh City Council puts the final touches to Princes Street Gardens Floral Clock. Paying tribute to Key Workers and the NHS. June 15 2020
David Dorward, Head gardener for Edinburgh City Council puts the final touches to Princes Street Gardens Floral Clock. Paying tribute to Key Workers and the NHS. June 15 2020

This year the clock pays tribute to all the people assisting in the Covid-19 crisis.

It carries a message reading ‘Stay Safe’ as well as a message at the top of the display reading ‘Edinburgh thanks all key workers’.

Usually three gardeners work on the attraction, planting begonias as well as other species, but this year two people have been assigned to it instead.

The hands are expected to be in place by next year.

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The 117-year-old Edinburgh clock was the first of its kind, but was soon replicated across the UK and the world.

It was the brainchild of Edinburgh parks superintendent John McHattie and clockmaker James Ritchie.

A cuckoo which popped out every hour was added in 1905.

A new topical design is unveiled each year.

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