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Work to restore the Sheerness Clock Tower starts this summer

Published Monday 5 July, 2021
Last updated on Friday 20 August, 2021

Work to restore the Coronation Clock Tower in Sheerness High Street to its former glory is expected to begin in late summer.

The iconic clock was fenced off earlier this year after an inspection of the structure found several serious defects internally and externally, including some areas towards the top of the tower with multiple fractures.

As the clock tower is a grade II listed building, any repair works need listed building consent, in consultation with Historic England, before they can begin.

The plans are due to be discussed by Swale Borough Council’s planning committee on Thursday, 22 July.

The council approved funding for the necessary repairs and have appointed specialist clock repairers Smith of Derby to carry out the work.

The plans will see the clock tower removed from its present location and taken to Derby to undergo repairs to the iron structure and clock mechanism.

Cllr Monique Bonney, cabinet member for economy and property at the council, said:

“Smith of Derby have a brilliant reputation for this kind of work, so I’m confident the clock tower will be in the best possible hands.

“This is an important part of our local history and we don’t want to cut corners and store up more problems for the future, so we’ve got someone in who we know will do it right.

“As soon as we get permission, we’ll get to work on having the clock tower carefully removed so the work can be carried out to bring it back to its former glory.

“We also want to make sure local people and visitors to the town can find out more about the clock and its history, so we plan to install hoardings that will tell the story of the clock tower and its importance to the area.

“We really want to use this as an opportunity to engage people with Sheerness’s heritage so they know what a special place it really is.”

Once the clock tower is disassembled it will be transported to Derby where repairs to the dial, hands, and clock mechanism will take place. New iron sections will be cast to replace the damaged areas, and the existing paintwork would need to be removed before being fully restored and transported back to Sheerness for reinstallation.

The restoration includes reinstating lanterns, which will be specially made to replace those originally hanging from the clock tower. Smith of Derby will also be able to establish the original colour scheme of the clock which can then be considered as part of its restoration.

The power supply for the clock lighting will also be disconnected and reinstated once the clock tower is reinstalled.