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Putting the hours in with festive event to restore historic town clock

PUBLISHED: 12:03 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 04 December 2018

Looking back in time to when this clock marked the hour in Gorleston High Street Picture: Tony Mallion

Looking back in time to when this clock marked the hour in Gorleston High Street Picture: Tony Mallion

Tony Mallion

A festive event is raising money for the restoration of an historic timepiece in Gorleston.

Christine Blowers, Gorleston's former library manager who gave more than 40 years to the service Photo: Hilary FranzenChristine Blowers, Gorleston's former library manager who gave more than 40 years to the service Photo: Hilary Franzen

The former library clock used to mark the hours for people up and down the busy high street but has been in storage for some 40 years.

Plans are well-advanced to re-site it on the Palace Cinema - itself a time-warp reminder of days gone by in the shopping hub which is enjoying a resurgence.

Visitors to the library on Saturday will find Santa Claus among the books as the Friends organisation stages its annual Christmas fair from 10am.

Activities will continue until 3pm with entertainment including The Statement Choir, a boys’ choir conducted by Rachel Saltern, recorder player Rosa Scott-Bell and the Faye Bedford Dancers.

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.

There will be also be a range of stalls including face painting.

Exhibitions include displays by Gorleston Flower Club and the Gorleston Heritage Group (GOSH).

The Friends group was set up four years ago to support and promote Gorleston Library.

Since then members have staged monthly talks as well as other events raising money for toys and carpets in the popular children’s library.

Money is also being raised for a memorial to Christine Blowers, the former manager and heart of the library for four decades who died suddenly earlier this year aged 60, as well as the major project to restore the former Gorleston Library clock.

The feature was put into storage over 40 years ago when the old Carnegie Library was replaced with the new building.

Plans are well advanced to install the clock on the Palace Cinema.

Other fund raising events including a quiz night and a meal will be happening in the new year while students at the East Norfolk Sixth Form College are also holding their own fund raising Christmas Fair and making a fund raising thermometer to help publicise the library clock project.

Friends chairman Sheila Russell said: “This just gets bigger and better every time.”

The fair will be opened by Friends supporters and councillors Marlene Fairhead and Barbara Wright at 10am with Father Christmas making the first of several appearances soon after.

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