Posted: Mon 22nd Feb 2016

Automation works set for Guildhall clock

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 22nd, 2016

Expert work to automate Swansea’s Guildhall clock is being carried out early this week. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The work, which has been approved by Cadw, will take place on Monday February 22 and Tuesday February 23. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The electric-powered clock, located at the top of the building’s Portland stone tower, has kept time in Swansea since the 1930s. It had been maintained since 1967 until recent times by expert Swansea-based horologist David Mitchell, who is retiring this month. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “The Guildhall clock tower is an iconic feature of Swansea’s skyline that’s helped local people and visitors to the city keep time since before the Second World War. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We’d like to thank Mr Mitchell for his many years of outstanding specialist service, but his retirement means we’ve now taken a decision to automate the clock in future as we strive to keep costs down in the face of the major budget deficit we’re facing. We expect the clock to be back working and fully functional on Wednesday February 24. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The works, which won’t lead to any changes in the clock’s appearance, will help preserve a treasured landmark for many years to come.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The four Guildhall clock faces were expertly cleaned in 2013 as part of an overall refurbishment of Guildhall. The clock tower was also cleaned, re-pointed and waterproofed to stand proud in the city for generations to come. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The clock automation works are being carried out by the Cumbria Clock Company, which has worked on clocks in famous buildings including Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building in the past. Mr Mitchell helped point the council in the direction of the company and has also volunteered his expertise in readiness for the automation scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Mitchell said: “The automation work needs to be done. The Guildhall clock, like all clocks in Swansea, is special to me because I worked on it for close to 50 years, but I know it’s in safe hands.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Restart units have also been installed at public clocks in buildings including Swansea Market and Treboeth Public Hall. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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