Timely restoration of city landmark

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Contractors work to remove the giant clock face to enable repairs. Pic © Daniel Moxon/JMU Journalism

Work has started on the restoration of one of the Royal Liver Building’s giant clocks after it stopped ticking earlier this year.

The iconic timepiece, on the west tower of the famous Liverpool landmark, had been ‘stuck’ at 12 o’clock for several months.

The hands, face and inner workings of the clock are being removed and taken to the Cumbrian Clock Company, based near Keswick in the Lake District, as it is the firm responsible for its upkeep.

Ian Edwards, Senior Building Manager for CBRE at the Liver Building, told JMU Journalism: “The south-facing clock was losing time on a regular basis, so I spoke to the Cumbrian Clock Company and they advised us to stop the clock in order to prevent further damage to the mechanisms.

“They didn’t know what it was that was causing the clock to lose time. They had an educated guess what it could be, but in order to know for sure, they had to take the hands off and strip the clock down entirely.”

YouTube: Daniel Moxon

This historic refurbishment of Liverpool’s most famous timekeeper is the first time the clock has been removed in over a century, dating back to the completion of the building in 1911.

Mr Edwards said: “They’re going to set the clock up at their workshop. It’ll be attached to a scaffold, and once they’re happy that it’s all as it should be, they’ll bring it back, and hopefully it will be back up there for another hundred years.”

This is not the only technical problem that the waterfront landmark has had in recent times. The sound of the bell was restored to the clocks in 2016 after a four-year absence – the original chimes had failed, and the CCC were forced to replace it with a digital recording.

Many Liverpudlians had noticed the failure of the clock and called for it to be fixed.

Twitter: Luke Mottram

Mr Edwards has assured that the work will be completed as quickly as possible, telling JMU Journalism: “The original timeframe is about four or five weeks between taking the clock down and putting it back up.

“We’re certainly aiming to have it back up before Christmas, but we won’t know for sure until we have it back in the workshop.”

About Daniel Moxon, JMU Journalism