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Hot weather brings landmark clock to a halt

PUBLISHED: 10:07 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 29 July 2019

The clock tower in Downham Market has stopped working. Picture: Sarah Hussain

The clock tower in Downham Market has stopped working. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Archant

The recent hot weather is being blamed for bringing a town's landmark clock to a standstill.

The clock tower in Downham Market has stopped working. Picture: Sarah HussainThe clock tower in Downham Market has stopped working. Picture: Sarah Hussain

The Grade II-listed clock in Downham Market stopped ticking on Wednesday, July 24.

The hands of the clock on the Victorian tower were brought to a halt, and the display on one of the four faces has stopped on 39 minutes past five.

Downham Market Town Council has been notified of the matter and has enlisted the help of specialist contractors to fix it.

Richard Davidson, the deputy town clerk, said: "It is such a beautiful structure and we in Downham Market are very fond of it.

The clock tower in Downham Market has stopped working. Picture: Sarah HussainThe clock tower in Downham Market has stopped working. Picture: Sarah Hussain

"The clock does not give us many problems but on the rare occasion it does stop the community gets in contact right away and let's us know.

"It's not like a traditional clock, but it is run by an electronic mechanism, so usually when there's an issue we give it 24 hours for it to self-correct and it usually sorts itself out.

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"However that has not happened this time and we have contacted an established contractor specialising in clock making to come and resolve it.

"We understand how important the clock is to the community and will do our best to get it fixed as soon as we can.

"Such an iconic mechanism needs a specialist so we're just waiting for them to get back to us to let us know when they are available.

"It seems the hot weather may be the cause of it and a lot of clocks across the country are experiencing the same problem."

The cost of the repair and when the clock will be up and running again is not yet known.

The clock tower was built in 1878 by William Cunliffe and presented to the town by local businessman, draper and grocer James Scott at the cost of £450.

The striking black and white building stands in the town's market square and has only received one major refurbishment.

In 2004 the clock's mechanism was revamped and its chimes were reactivated.

The clock, which runs on an electric motor, is seen helping light up the streets at night on the corner of Bridge Street and High Street.

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