News and press releases

22 Oct 2008

Town Hall Clock Celebrates Centenary

Press release


Mayoress Brenda Donaldson trips the switch on the Town Hall clock mechanism 100 years after its installation Mayoress Brenda Donaldson trips the switch on the Town Hall clock mechanism 100 years after its installation

The famous Town Hall clock in South Shields is celebrating its centenary today ( Tuesday 21st October).

It is 100 years to the day since it was set going, at noon on October 21 1908, by the then Mayoress, Mrs W Gladstone Wylie who severed a cord and released the pendulum.

Today the present Mayoress, Mrs Brenda Donaldson, climbed the steep steps to the clock room inside the Town Hall tower and two minutes before noon and pulled a lever to set the familiar bells chiming.

The Mayoress said: "It is a great privilege and pleasure to perform this ceremony. The beautiful Town Hall and impressive clock are well known landmarks, not only in South Shields but also in the whole of South Tyneside. Generations of people have looked at its dials and listened to its chimes as they've gone about their daily lives. It is a slice of our history and I hope it chimes for many more years to come."

Background:

  • The clock is a Westminster chiming turret clock made by Wm Potts and Sons of Leeds, its weight driven winding mechanism is now controlled by electric motors.
  • The clock has four faces (2.6 metres diameter) set in ornate stone carvings depicting the four seasons.
  • The impressive clock tower is crowned with a distinctive galleon weather vane.
  • The five bells were cast at Taylor's foundry at Loughborough.
  • It was converted to automatic winding in 1956 and the bell hammers were replaced in 1977 and again in 2000.
  • The total cost was £340 for the clock and £682 for the five bells while 'extras' brought up the figure to £1,098!

Pres/r&r/e&r/am/abpr363ab


cookies