In 2008, Lionel Taylor, who is our Archivist and is now also our Secretary launched this project as a result of a comment made by a visiting representative of “The Georgian Society”. That person had indicated that the Society may be able to help with a grant but it would have to be for a specific project.
The Original Clock at Bank Hall was built into the Tower in the 1830’s which was of course towards the end of the Georgian period so it seemed a project surrounding the clock would be an ideal solution.
In developing the idea further, it was considered that the mechanism itself could not now be restored but of course the clock faces, which would still be a part of the visual aspect of the tower, should be restored. Research was carried out as to the condition of the stonework forming the faces and thus, the concept of restoring the faces and preserving what is left of the mechanism was born. Another member, Ann Johnson came up with the inspirational project name “A Moment in Time” and Lionel then designed the fund raising concept and launched the project.
The Clock face on the South facing side is still intact except that in spring 2007, vandals climbed the scaffolding and ripped off the clock fingers. One of the fingers was dropped and was subsequently recovered albeit in a damaged state and that is now with the Groups Artifacts. The face on the North side fell when the North side of the Tower collapsed.
The Clock faces are constructed in a diamond shape using 4 pieces of stone. At each corner there is another large piece of Sandstone faced on the front with a Fleur-De-Lys. One of the Fleur-De-Lys stones on the North face was still on the Tower but fell down in Summer 2009. Another one in slightly better condition has been recovered and is with the Groups Artifacts but is also deteriorating. A third has been located within the Hall but is in very poor condition and the fourth is missing.
The four pieces of stone that comprise the clock face have all been located amongst other stone work and brick material in the Hall but unfortunately they are too large to move to inspect without some mechanical assistance. It is thought that they may be undamaged but this will not be known until they can be inspected.
The first part of the project is split into two elements:
The second part of the project is to replace the Clock fingers for both faces of the Clock and to preserve what remains of the Clock mechanism.
The estimated cost of all this work is £10,000 and the project seeks to raise funds by selling “Moments in Time” at a cost of £5 each. These are the minutes in each hour of a single day. If each one was sold it would raise £7,200. The second way of raising funds is by the sponsorship of each numeral on the clock face and that would raise £3,000 or more as some larger donations are been allocated to this part of the project.
Sponsorship of about half the Roman Numerals has been achieved to date and we have sold some “Moments in Time” but not that many so far. A certificate is provided for each donor. Providing the time is available, some have been sold to commemorate a specific event such as a “Birth Time”. Some have been sold in memory of a family member.
A register of all contributors is being made for this project.
The Georgian Society have also promised a grant of £1000 towards this project.
We are grateful to all those who have contributed so far and if you do feel able to help in any way, we would be pleased to hear from you.