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Historic Gorleston Library clock could find a home on new cinema

PUBLISHED: 14:06 28 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:06 28 October 2017

Borough councillor Marlene Fairhead, Gorleston Library Friends chairman Sheila Russell and Library manager Christine Blowers with the stored clock.

Borough councillor Marlene Fairhead, Gorleston Library Friends chairman Sheila Russell and Library manager Christine Blowers with the stored clock.

Gorleston Library Friends

Plans to bring the old Gorleston Library clock back to the High Street after over 40 years in storage are moving a step forward.

PLACES    G  Looking from Gorleston High Street to Feathers Plain. The building with the clock is the Library. The Feathers Public House is the white building on the left. The cast iron railings of the toilets can be seen behind the telephone box. Dated  13th  October  1978  Photograph  C0526 PLACES G Looking from Gorleston High Street to Feathers Plain. The building with the clock is the Library. The Feathers Public House is the white building on the left. The cast iron railings of the toilets can be seen behind the telephone box. Dated 13th October 1978 Photograph C0526

The idea is to install it on the Palace Cinema which reopened this week as a multiplex where owner Patrick Duffy is keen to give the clock a new home.

The Gorleston Library Friends is behind the scheme to have the clock on display and work is underway to sort out the legal side and raise the funding needed.

One of the UK’s leading experts in public clocks, Simon Michlmayr of Norwich, has examined the clock which was installed at the old Carnegie Library in the early years of the 20th century. He concluded it is in good condition and has estimated the cost of restoration.

Gorleston’s old library and tram shed were demolished to make way for the new building but the borough council put the chiming clock into storage at one of its depots with the hope it could be found a new home.

The Friends took up the challenge in the summer and began with a visit to see the clock.

Mr Duffy said Gorleston had been his home for 25 years, he loved the town and was keen to restore part of its history.

Friends chairman Mrs Sheila Russell said: “Everyone felt it would be good to have three public clocks along the High Street – one at Jary’s at the top; the existing one at the library and its predecessor at its new venue between the two at the Palace.”

She added legal work was going on to establish ownership. The old library and clock belonged to the former Great Yarmouth Borough Council while the new library is run by Norfolk County Council library service and owned by the property division. The Palace would not own the clock but be its guardian.

This all needs to be resolved before an applications can be made for funding for restoration and new electronic mechanism.

All Friends events, including the Christmas Fair on December 9 will be fundraisers for the project which has sparked interest.

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