Famous clock to be stored away

PUBLISHED: 11:01 11 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 25 May 2010

A FAMOUS seafront timepiece is to be made redundant as part of plans to regenerate Weston s Pier Square.

A FAMOUS seafront timepiece is to be made redundant as part of plans to regenerate Weston's Pier Square.

The old bus station clock, now positioned on stilts next to the Tourist Information Centre, is to be stowed away when work begins on the major redevelopment.

The decision has upset nearby residents who say the clock has a justified place in the town's history and should remain on display.

The timepiece was put above the new station in 1928 but removed when the site was developed and repositioned on the Beach Lawns in 1991.

North Somerset Council deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said it is a 'myth' the clock has historical significance.

He said: "It doesn't have any historic significance as a clock, and rather than just moving it somewhere else where it may be inappropriate a decision has been made to put it into storage.

"Later, if the town council or another organisation comes up with a practical place to put it then that will be investigated."

Councillor Ap Rees said one idea was to site the clock outside the town's railway station.

He added: "But at the moment, rather than just leap in and move it to a place which could also be redeveloped, we thought it was better to place it into storage and think it through carefully."

The decision has shocked residents in Carlton Mansions who have called on the council to keep the clock on the Beach Lawns.

Pensioner Jim Hannam claims the clock is the oldest radio operated time mechanism in the country - the only accurate public clock in Weston.

He believes the clock, which is being considered by English Heritage for grade two listing, should be moved to a defunct slip road across the Beach Lawns from Beach Road to Marine Parade.

He said: "This gentleman has obviously not studied the clock's history as much as one would expect him to have done.

"Of course it has historical significance, from servicemen using it when visiting the town years ago to tourists today, the clock has certainly played its part in the town.

"It is absolutely essential it remains in the town on display.

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