The Beast Rises Again.
This was the heading in our local rag this week.
Our unique town clock, which stands outside City Hall is quite a landmark.
The clock , already a fair size , with a swinging pendulum, is mounted by a large mechanical horse. An apt landmark for Maple Ridge, which is also known as The Horse Capital of Canada. (Though I am sure there are other communities with more horses, but that's another post).
Upon the hour and the half hour, the clock chimes and the horse slowly rises up onto its back legs. It is quite a sight to see, and it draws a lot of spectators. Delighting young and old alike. I never tire of watching this aluminum equine rear up to its full height. For the fascinating legend of the beast, click HERE for a link to the story on the municipal web site. It's an entertaining story, well worth your time. Heck, those of you with kids may even want to share it with them. There's a thought... A beastly bedtime story from Maple Ridge!
The beast fell motionless in 2004 after the commodore 64 operating system crashed. The clock creator had since passed away and hadn't left any blueprints. So it took a long time for the repair company to reprogram the horse and to basically rebuild the internal mechanisms. So now he is on the go again, greeting passers by with his robotic feats.
Sadly , another article this week, detailed the death of yet another horse on our roads. Unfortunately, not all motorists afford our saddled friends the courtesy of a slow wide berth when passing. I don't know if it is ignorance or mere stupidity. But a young girls horse was clipped by a truck trailer and the animal had to be put down, luckily the rider was unharmed. But how upsetting must it be to see your horse suffer such a traumatic ending?
These photos were taken in 2004. This was a planned ride in protest at city hall. Dozens of riders paraded up town and marched on city hall. They called the mayor out to demanded better enforcement of the bylaws which require safe passing of a horse and rider by motor vehicles. This protest was staged after a lovely old horse was killed on the same road in the same way by a fast moving large truck. Its rider was badly injured and is lucky to be alive. The city put up a few more signs which alert motorists to expect horses on our roads and to pass slow and wide.
Apparently, that has done little good.