TODAY it stands silent and increasingly derelict but Redlers clock at Dudbridge once kept time and leant inspiration to Stroud's workers.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s former Redlers mill worker Dave Tigwell, who now lives in Cornwall, used to maintain the clock and would retreat to its hallowed chambers to write poetry.

He recalled: "I spent many hours up there contemplating all manner of things, observing the movements of people, regulating the pendulum with old pennies or adjusting the lighting up mechanism.

"Sometimes I would spend all day up in the clock and fall asleep despite the deafening noise during the quarter hourly chimes.

"No one seemed to miss me at all. "I compiled a book of poems up in the clock," he said, " one of which was about the clock itself. "

For Mr Tigwell the demise of the rare landmark timepiece marked changing times in the Five Valleys.

"I enjoyed my time at Redlers but it has gone now and nothing lasts forever. Stroud has changed out of all recognition, busier and more congested with new roads everywhere."

There is a place where time is kept Where I have been at times and slept. In amongst the clicking cogs The sparrows' nests and rabid dogs. Footprints on the ancient dust Where other men have come to lust.

There is a room of cable fells Another room is full of bells. A mechanoid that never stops Up here above the chimney tops. I love these time consuming toys That frighten other, lesser boys.

I sit up here composing rhymes To fit the quarter- hourly chimes. But on the floor beneath the tick, A patch of oil has made it slick. So should I fail to watch my legs I'll land amongst the meshing pegs

And though I scream out loud in pain This tireless thing will crush my brain, And cut me up in little slices. Fodder for the squeaking mices.

Never will I end this rhyme For I will finish last in time.