Tam the Gun. (Part 3 of 3)

Everything is ready now, Tam leaves his office and heads up to the Gun.

Tam was never short of an audience, folk from all over the world wanting to witness the firing of Edinburgh’s one o’clock gun.

And there it is, exactly one o’clock. It synchronises with the dropping of the time ball which is situated on top of the Nelson monument on Calton Hill. This actually came first in 1852 and was used to assist sailors on the river Forth set their chronometers. However on foggy days the ball couldn’t be seen so it was decided to add an additional auditory signal.

Shell casing and breech mechanism in hand Staff Sergeant Thomas ‘Tam the Gun’¬†McKay, would return to his office and will prepare for the next day’s firing. In 2002 he published a book of anecdotes and history relating to the gun entitled ‘What time does Edinburgh’s One O’clock gun fire?’ the proceeds of which went to t the Army Benevolent fund for whom he had undertook fundraising work for.

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