Brighton and Hove News »Repair work on Jubilee clock tower begins

Work began this week to repair and restore parts of the Jubilee Clock Tower before it stood in the center of the city’s Christmas lights.

The clockwork mechanisms are scrapped and the missing hand replaced – and engineers are also hoping to repair the gold ball which, until a few years ago, went up and down on time.

Work on the Grade II listed tower, which sits atop North Street, is being carried out by the same team that worked on Big Ben in London.

The next phase will be to rewrite the faded and missing letters of the clock dials, followed by the replacement of the anti-bird netting with a steel mesh and, where possible, without the use of spikes.

Steel mesh is used in accordance with RSPB advice and helps prevent birds from getting stuck, as is sometimes the case with plastic style mesh.

Checks are also made on parts of the tower where the city traditionally hangs Christmas lights.

The work is expected to take about four weeks.

Chairman of the Board, Phélim Mac Cafferty, said: “I am very happy that work has started on the clock tower. It is one of the first things people pass when they arrive from the train station or notice when moving around the city.

“It is so important that we take care of the monuments which are such an iconic part of Brighton & Hove’s history. This work will mean that the clock will run again, instead of just twice a day.

The Jubilee Clock Tower was donated to the city in 1888 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee the previous year.

Designed by John Johnson and built by JT Chappell, it is made of Portland stone and polished pink granite with a copper domed roof and a crown on top bearing a metal globe; it was a time ball designed by Magnus Volk.

It stands 23m (75ft) tall, with Volk’s Time Ball adding an additional 4.9m (16ft). Each of the four dials is 1.5 m (5 feet) in diameter.

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