• Belfast Between The Wars

POLICEMAN AND PUBLICAN: WALK TO ALBERT CLOCK TO TEST TIME

Belfast Telegraph, Friday 24th October 1924


The story of a policeman’s visit with a Belfast publican to the Albert Clock to test the accuracy of a constable’s timepiece was told in the City Summons Court this afternoon when John Campbell, Annette Street (East Bridge Street), was prosecuted for a breach of the Licensing Act on 23rd September. The Court, while holding that the case had been proved, allowed the defendant off, cautioning him to be more careful in future.


Constable Jackson told the Bench of finding the defendant’s public-house open at 9-51 a.m. on 23rd September.


Mr. Donnelly – The case is a question of minutes.


The witness said he found four men inside. He did not see the shop being opened and he did not see the men enter it.


In reply to Mr. Donnelly, witness said he pulled out his watch when he entered and directed the defendant’s attention to the time. Mr. Campbell and he went to the Albert Clock to test the accuracy of his watch. He then discovered his watch a minute slow.


Mr. Toppin, R.M. – What time was it by the Albert Clock?


Witness – Five minutes past ten.


Mr. Donnelly – Do you remember the song, “If you want to know the time ask a policeman?” (Laughter.)


To find out more about the history of the Albert Clock and how it was saved from toppling over click here.


To find out more about the song, 'If You Want to Know the Time Ask a Policeman' click here.


To listen to the first verse and chorus of the song click here (from 1 minute 30 seconds).


You can view images of the Albert Clock on National Museums NI's website.