Beast Horse Clock
Location:Dewdney Trunk Road, Between Maple Ridge City Hall and the RCMP Building.
Materials Used:Aluminum and recycled parts and materials. A 'Commodore 64' was the original operating system.
Located outside Council Chambers on Dewdney Trunk Road the Beast has been a Maple Ridge landmark since its installation in 1989.
Ahead of his time, D.R. Brayford envisioned that the beast would represent local natural beauty and wrote a story called, “The Legend of the Beast”. The mechanical beast took two years to construct and is composed of recycled materials. The Beast contains a clock that chimes on the hour accompanied with the rearing of the Beast.
Resurrection of the Beast
Enter Ryan Crapo, Electrician and Rob Dyer, Plumber/Gas Fitter; both employees in the Parks & Facilities Department.
The Beast clock had been maintained by Raymond Saunders, horologist and owner of Landmark Clocks. However, earlier in the year Mr. Saunders had an accident and could not perform maintenance on the clock. He knew the basics on the workings of the “Beast” but admitted he was no expert on the mechanical horse. He offered to come to Maple Ridge and direct staff on how to remove the pieces of the horse to get to the hydraulics.
A scissor lift was rented to get to the horse as the platform was blocked by one of the horse’s legs. On April 22, 2009 Ryan and Rob removed pieces of the horse and inspected the hydraulics. They repaired and replaced the hydraulic hoses and reset the time as the clock was running about 3 minutes slow. With their new found knowledge on the clockworks, they set upon synchronizing the mechanical horse with the time and chimes. This was done by deciphering how the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) worked.
Why the Beast No Longer Rises
Contributed by City of Maple Ridge Staff Employee David Boag, August 20, 2012
The beast went into retirement almost two years ago, as it was considered to be a liability. At that time the welds on one of the hooves failed and it fell off. This was the second occurrence like this in a couple of years. As the Beast does not have an engineers stamp on it, it was considered too big a risk to allow it to continue to rise on the hour. There were also several hydraulic hose failures over the years, some of which spilled onto the ground below. (The fellow who built the beast had the original maintenance contract (former employee), When Don became ill and subsequently passed away, we recruited a clock maintainer to look after it, that is when it had its major overhaul and the computer controls were upgraded.
The Legend of the Beast,
In the valley of the Golden Ears Mountains in Maple Ridge, ‘The Beast’ ran, and frolicked from the beginning of time in perfect harmony with the environment.
Mother Nature took many hours of pleasure just watching the beauty of the ‘Beast’s’ movement and the sheer joy of living the ‘Beast’ projected as it ran and jumped in play with the other animals in the valley, without a mean bone in its’ body. Mother Nature found perfect solitude in the mountains and a place to rest from her ever increasing workload throughout the world when time would allow.
Sadly, it came to pass one day that man became extremely proficient in the destruction of the earth. Man’s technology in the production of toxic chemicals, nuclear waste, sewage and larger machines to cut down the forests quicker had a devastating effect on the earth. The oceans were used as dumping grounds, drift nets, miles long, were set to kill anything living without regard, and oil was spilled as if to make sure everything else was destroyed. Mother Nature worked so hard trying to repair the damage that she was just about finished. Man in his greed was ready to put his final touch to the end of nature, but he had not reckoned on the appearance of ‘The Beast’ who came thundering out of the Valley of the Golden Ears to help Mother Nature.
The battle was fierce, but ‘The Beast’ was not like Mother Nature who would not hurt anyone or anything. ‘The Beast’ ran over people that were causing this destruction and gave battle in any way that was possible, and in the battle, man used chemicals, nuclear waste, fire and pollution of every sort to try and stop this thing from the Valley of the Golden Ears.
When the battle was over and Mother Nature had a chance to regain her strength, she found ‘The Beast’ was just about done in with man’s pollution of nuclear waste, chemicals, acid rain, smog, sewage and smoke from what was left of the forests. There was no way she could save ‘The Beast’ and restore it to what it was when it ran free in the valleys and mountains around Maple Ridge. The damage was too great. This was a sad day. A few tears fell from Mother Nature and anger started to swell up in her until she was mad. In her anger, this was what she decreed:
“While ‘The Beast’ cannot be as before, I can make it in another form and I will make ‘The Beast’ into a statue for all the world
to see. I will not let man or the sum of all mankind go without punishment. They who try to destroy by pollution and
technology shall have their souls imprisoned and shall wake up with nightmares of ‘The Beast’ as he captures them and does
what he will. Furthermore, I, Mother Nature, make this decree that I will give mankind another chance to change his ways and use hisintelligence to help the environment.
Because of past performance, I am starting the Clock of Time, and how much time is left to the world depends on what is done. For now, the clock is running with the souls and spirits of those who would not heed my warning. Trapped, their pain and anguish can be seen in their eyes. ‘The Beast’ would give no mercy if it could get at them and they would be destroyed, but their destruction would not be enough punishment. Instead, they will have to look over the world every hour and see what they have done for an eternity and every hour ‘The Beast’ shall have its’ vengeance as it tramples upon those inside the clock who have done damage to the earth.”