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Newsletter, January 2010 (Issue 178)

Public Clocks in Town


Visual assessment conducted early November 2009

  1. Christchurch Mansion -- going well
  2. St Margaret's Church, Soane St -- going well
  3. County Hall, St Helen's St -- not going well
  4. St Clement's Church, Star La -- not going well
  5. Loch Fyne, Duke St. -- going well
  6. Trinity Church Fore Hamlet -- going well
  7. Custom House, Waterfront -- going well
  8. St Mary Quay Church, Key St -- not going well
  9. Price's, now Ollie's, Tacket St -- going well
  10. St Peter's Church, College St -- going well
  11. Railway station car park -- going well
  12. Royal Mail, Commercial Rd -- not going well
  13. CSV Media, Portman Rd -- not going well
  14. St Mary Elms Church, Elm St -- going well
  15. St Matthew's Church, Civic Dr -- not going well
  16. Elim Church, Barrack Corner -- not going well
  17. Samuels, Westgate St -- going well
  18. Town Hall, Cornhill -- going well
  19. Tower Ramparts Centre -- going well
  20. The Walk, Tavern St -- not going well
  21. Croydon's (Black's) Tavern St -- going well
  22. Yorkshire Build Soc Tavern St -- going well
  23. Electric House, Tower Ramps. -- going well
  24. The Cricketers, Tower Ramps -- going well
  25. Robt Ransome, Tower Ramps -- going well
  26. St Mary le Tower Church -- going well

Since I was implicated in the 'Tom Gondris Challenge' (Newsletter October 2009) of reassessing the town's public clocks, the above review has been undertaken. The numbering sequence is based on beginning in the north with Christchurch Mansion and St Margaret's Church progressing clockwise (what else?) east, south, west, then returning to the north with Tower Ramparts.

In overall terms and probably a decade on, things have declined. The current economic climate precludes owners/organisations from spending on maintaining invariably ancient time pieces requiring that twice a year hourly adjustment. I suspect the horology expertise needed to maintain our street viewed clocks is a diminishing skill in our computer age.

Congratulations to those with sufficient civic pride in keeping the clocks going, and to those responsible for the sad static hands perhaps they can be encouraged to get them moving. This applies particularly to clocks numbered 3, 13 and 16, these being in key open locations and would restore the feeling of pride in our town, especially so if illuminated at night. This review indicates a 30% non-functioning rate and raises the question how this would compare with similar sized venues in East Anglia, let alone mainland European urban centres where my suspicion is that greater community zeal exists.

Please let me know if you find errors in my analysis, in particular if I have failed to discover some worthy contender in the heart of our town. I am aware of good examples further out of town, but the recording of these (invariably on cycle) will await more suitable weather.


    Front cover of issue 178 Cover, issue 178

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