Iconic Norwich clock could now have found a new home

Watchmaker Simon Michlmeyer with the Gurney Clock in 2006.

Watchmaker Simon Michlmeyer with the Gurney Clock in 2006. - Credit: Archant © 2004

A iconic clock which was gifted to Norwich four decades ago but now faces a future in storage could be returned to its 'spiritual home'.

The empty case where the Gurney Clock stood at the Castle Mall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The empty case where the Gurney Clock stood at the Castle Mall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The Gurney Clock was commissioned for the city in 1977, to celebrate 200 years of the well-known Gurney's Bank, now Barclays, which had its home on Bank Plain until 2003.

Taking 12 years to make, the timepiece was initially installed in Chapelfield in 1988, but was moved to Castle Mall in 1998, where it has since captivated families with its distinctive lion, which rolls balls down a spiral track when the clock strikes.

But as reported in the EDP on Monday, the shopping centre has chosen not to display the clock and has bundled it up for storage, with Norwich City Council, who owns it, exploring its options.

Now, John Gordon-Saker, chief executive officer of OPEN Norwich, has said he would love to welcome the clock back to its 'spiritual home'.

The concert and conference venue is housed in the old Gurney Bank building in the city centre.

Mr Gordon-Saker said: 'We are in the building where the bank was so there is a family connection here and it makes a lot of sense.

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'From our point of view it can be housed in a dry, secure and accessible space in our reception area and we would love to have it.'

He said that he had already spoken to the city council, who are considering the proposals of several interested parties. 'With conferences, our young people, tenants and gigs we think we welcome about 60,000 people a year through our doors,' he said. 'Bringing the clock home could even help make OPEN a tourist attraction.'

Mr Gordon-Saker said that David Gurney, who was at the helm of the company during the 200-year celebrations, supported the bid to have the clock brought to OPEN.

A spokesperson for the city council said: 'There are a number of factors to take into account in deciding the best new home for the Gurney clock. We have already be in touch with Open and appreciate their offer, which is being considered among the other options.'

Do you have a suggestion for where the Gurney Clock should be on display? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk