Repair work of up to £200,000 means Norwich City Hall’s clock will have to be stopped

Norwich City Hall clock tower.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich City Hall clock tower. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Time is set to stand still in Norwich city centre, at least when it comes to the iconic clock tower on City Hall - so that up to £200,000 of repairs can be done.

One of the finials on the City Hall clock tower. Pic: Norwich City Council.

One of the finials on the City Hall clock tower. Pic: Norwich City Council. - Credit: Norwich CIty Council

Repairs, expected to take around 14 weeks, are due to begin on Monday, when scaffolding will be put in place around the tower,

City Hall's clock mechanism. Pic: Norwich City Council.

City Hall's clock mechanism. Pic: Norwich City Council. - Credit: Norwich CIty Council

A crane will be brought in to remove the long vertical pieces of metal which sit on each corner of the clock tower – called 'finials'.

They will be taken away, cleaned, repaired and reinstalled.

And, at an appropriate stage in the repairs programme, the clock will be stopped and the hands set to 12, to make it easier for work to be carried out around the moving objects.


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A hoist will be put in place to take workers and equipment up the scaffold. While the scaffold is in place, a full survey will also be carried out so that any repointing work can be done.

Mike Stonard, cabinet member for resources and business liaison, said: 'City Hall's clock tower is such an iconic feature of Norwich's landscape so we need to make sure we preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

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'The work involves planned maintenance of hard-to-reach parts of the clock tower and requires a skilled workforce to deliver it.

'I look forward to seeing the finished result and gazing up at the tower clock when it's back in full working order.'

The council has identified up to £200,000 in its capital programme to cover the costs.

The Labour-controlled cabinet agreed in January to award a contract for the work, worth just over £180,000, to Cambridgeshire-based JB Specialist Refurbishments Ltd.

It is not the first time the tower, which dates from 1938 and forms part of the Grade II* listed building, and its clock have cost the council money.

In 2011, after the clock stopped, specialists had to strip the clock completely down and rebuild it after major problems were identified in the mechanism.

At a cost of £13,000, specialist Norwich-based company Michlmayr Clock & Watchmakers carried out the work to get the clock working again.

The clock has had its fair share of problems over the years, stopping completely around New Year in 2010, when the mechanism froze, while in 2005 it stopped working just months after thousands of pounds were spent fixing it.

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