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How often has time stood still in Norwich?

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 28 December 2019

Norwich City Hall clock tower.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich City Hall clock tower. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

It is one of Norwich's most iconic landmarks and, with its clock face visible from across the city, arguably one of the most useful.

Scaffolders working on Norwich City Hall clock tower in 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYScaffolders working on Norwich City Hall clock tower in 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

But have you ever looked up at City Hall's clock to see the timepiece frozen in time and wondered when it exactly it stopped?

Over the past two years, City Hall's clock has stopped five times due to a combination of programmed repairs and mechanical faults.

In 2017, the clock was stopped for three months to allow for clock repairs to take place.

During the course of 2019, the clock was stopped for 12 days between May 30 and June 6 to allow for programmed repairs to be carried out, including the cutting of a new gear.

The clock then ceased working for another five days in October, when the locking arm seized and then had to be released.

The timepiece was also stopped at the end of November for a couple of weeks to allow for the clock's coil to be rewound.

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The clock is serviced twice a year at a cost of £697 per service.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: "Repairs to the clock are done as when it's identified as not working.

"The original clock mechanism is in place although more modern equipment now keeps the clock ticking.

"Each of the clock faces are 14 feet in diameter and have a copper sheet with gold leaf on a steel frame."

City Hall and its clock tower date back to 1938 and, although no extensive records of repairs dating back to the building's construction exist, it is believed the clock's face is original. The hands and dials have been regilded over the years.

Some of the clock's mechanics are also thought to be original.

The clock tower stands 206ft high from ground level to the tip of the lighting conductor - almost one fifth as high as The Shard in London.

Within the clock tower is the clock keeper's office, a room which dates back to a time when the keeper was responsible for the main clock in the tower and for winding and maintaining all of the timepieces in City Hall.

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