Own­ers sought for lost and found clock

Marlborough Express - - NEWS - ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY

For four decades, Stu­art La­timer has felt guilty about the fam­ily heir­loom he lost while work­ing as an ap­pren­tice watch­maker.

Now, af­ter dis­cov­er­ing the an­tique clock in the back of a wardrobe, he wants to re­unite it with its own­ers.

La­timer was an ap­pren­tice watch­maker in 1977, and through some ac­quain­tances he met a cou­ple who asked him to over­haul and fix their an­tique oak clock.

He was taken to the cou­ple’s house to pick up the clock – and then lost it.

‘‘I’ve al­ways felt guilty and looked for it ev­ery­where.’’

His last mem­ory of it was in the back of his car.

Re­cently La­timer has been stay­ing at his mother’s house in Ti­maru as he and his part­ner pre­pare to move into their new house in Queen­stown, from Auck­land.

While clean­ing out his child­hood bed­room wardrobe he was sur­prised to find the clock in­tact at the back. He does not re­call putting it there. ‘‘I want to get it back to them [own­ers].’’

Though he had not worked on the clock he was sur­prised that it had started tick­ing again with­out any in­ter­ven­tion.

He is un­able to re­mem­ber the clock own­ers’ names or where they lived, ex­cept that it was in a villa. He has walked around that neigh­bour­hood hop­ing to jog his mem­ory – but to no avail.

La­timer, 19 at the time he took pos­ses­sion of the clock, es­ti­mates the cou­ple were about 15 to 20 years older than him. ‘‘I never saw them again [af­ter pick­ing up the clock].’’

One of the ac­quain­tances who in­tro­duced them no longer re­calls the own­ers’ names ei­ther. They were left with the dif­fi­cult task at the time of in­form­ing them the clock could not be found when they in­quired six months af­ter La­timer took it.

He es­ti­mates the clock is pos­si­bly more than 120 years old and still looks in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, with no dam­age from its un­ex­pected re­treat.

‘‘I just want to find them,’’ La­timer said.

Stu­art La­timer with the clock he was meant to fix, but lost in­stead. Forty years later he found it in his fam­ily home. Now he wants to find the own­ers.

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