Time governs our activities, whether it is catching a train or turning up for a scheduled meeting. When we are out and about we are usually rushing between events. Knowing the time is vital so that we don’t pile stress on ourselves by worrying that we may be late, or indeed be rude to our friends or contacts if we are.

Public clocks are often ignored yet they are a characteristic and ever varying resource. We should use them and love them. Somebody, somewhere, and in a previous time, has expended a great deal of effort to make sure that they are provided and keep good time. Why not recognise that effort by spotting them and using them as was intended?

From church towers in country villages to public clocks in town and cities; from the cathedral or the Elizabeth Tower to the jeweller’s promotional clock, they are there to be enjoyed and appreciated. So next time you are out, don’t keep looking at your phone to check the time. Keep an eye out, and upwards, to use the public clocks that are there for our use and enjoyment. On your usual routes make a note of where they are so that you have a regular time check. They are comforting, give a sense of place and help with a sense of belonging and community.