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Council to put the tick in town hall clock

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The 200-year-old clock at Stockton Town Hall will soon be ticking again, thanks to its restoration by Stockton Council.

The clock, which has been a landmark in Stockton town centre for generations, has adorned the tower of Stockton Town Hall since 1803.  However, the delicate winding mechanism has become very worn over two centuries and is prone to mechanical failure.

The clock is currently out of operation following a breakdown several weeks ago and the Council has a brought in a specialist restoration company to return it to use.  The company, Smith's of Derby, is one of the few specialists in the country to carry out such work.

To overcome the mechanical frailties of the ancient mechanism, restorers will install an automated electric winding system to help ensure the clock runs reliably for years to come.

Richard McGuckin, Stockton Council's Head of Technical Services, said:  "The Town Hall clock is a familiar sight for everyone in Stockton and we all expect it to give the right time, all the time.

"Unfortunately, the years of wear and tear have taken their toll and it has become less and less reliable as time goes by.

"We currently have to wind the clock three times a week and this is when it is most prone to breaking down.  The automated winding system will help avoid this and will also mean we can keep the original main clock mechanism intact.

"However, because the parts must be specially manufactured, it will take a few weeks to complete the repairs and we ask people to bear with us until the job is complete."

The Council expects the clock to be restored to full working order during May.