FROM the moment it was first established high above the town's streets in 1885, the striking timepiece became irreversibly woven into Clydebank's rich history. A symbol of the world renowned Singer factory the 26ft wide clock face became the largest one anywhere in the world.

Sitting on top of a 226ft high tower, the iconic structure was adorned with 2ft long Roman numerals and 6ft hands.

It took four men 15 minutes to wind it up twice a week.

During its 78-year existence it underwent many changes until Provost Frank Downie officially stopped it ticking 50 years ago on Friday, March 15, 1963.

But a fruitful partnership between one artist and an engraving company has now turned time back to ensure the famous clock's legacy will remain in the town for generation to come.

Elspeth Bennie, the sculpture's creator, told the Post: "There were two industries which dominated Clydebank's industrial heritage - the shipyards and Singer sewing machine factory.

"It was felt the shipyards had already received a lot of attention and commemoration so we focused on Singer." American company Singer Corporation built its flagship European headquarters at Clydebank after outgrowing its original Glasgow premises.

It became the world's largest sewing machine factory, employing more than 15,000 members of staff at its peak on a 50 acre site.

It also produced more machines than all of its rivals put together - around 80 per cent of the world's sewing machines - and the distinctive black design used is still recognisable to this day.

Weeks after the clock, which was decorated with a huge Singer sign above it written in 6ft high letters, was stopped its tower was also destroyed.

In 1980 the number of employees had greatly reduced but 3,000 people still lost their jobs when the factory closed along with many of the sporting and social clubs.

Eventually the building was demolished in the early 1990s.

But because the factory had played such an important part in history, West Dunbartonshire Council asked Elspeth to create a piece of artwork to remember it.

It is now displayed at Dalmuir Park in Clydebank, as part of a regeneration programme designed to bring the site back to its former glory.

Describing her work, which was several months in the making, she added: "The piece is based on the Singers clock tower, which was a dominant landmark in the area. It's hoped it will act as a meeting point in the park with the clock part giving shelter.

"The original clock tower had a clock on all four faces but in this piece there is only one clock with panels used on the other three sides. These panels have different information on them relating to the original clock.

"The four legs each have a panel and two of them are decorated with the 'RAF' decal - the gold decoration which was put on the black enamel of the machines. This particular decoration was one that was designed by one of the Clydebank employees.

"The inside panels relate to the previous industries that were on this site and pre-date the park." The recent project was helped by Yorkshire based company Cutting Technologies which came on board to help laser cut and engrave sections of the clock.

Director Jane Robinson added: "We've done a lot of work with artists, designers and sculptors and we always enjoy working through the creative process with them.

"It's an honour to have helped create artwork which commemorates the world-famous Singer factory and to have played a part in recognising such an important part of Scotland's heritage." Elspeth added: "Their help was invaluable, we needed a company which not only had the skills but also the imagination to understand what we wanted to create."