JUST what do you produce that marks an new
era in of a town's calendar? Well, something with which you can easily
tell the time would be useful.
But with its three dials - one
each for the hours, minutes and seconds - the town's new timepiece was a
talking point of nothing else. Many were the visitors to be seen
scratching their heads as they tried to make out what the time was.
The clock, installed
in 2000 as a symbol of the new Millennium in Nantwich, was clearly
not what the town had been expecting.
Some didn't like it and thought it should be taken
away, and others were not happy that as well as trying to sort out what
time the clock was displaying, they had to peer (in 2007) through a
screen of condensation on the casing (left).
It no doubt didn't help that
the sealing around the edges of the glass sides seemed to have failed
- or was it vandalised? - to the extent that people started pushing
coins into the casing along the lines of a wishing well or any other
small area of water -
such as a fountain or stream - that
can be found in public places.
This was sorted out and the
sealant was renewed. But not before moisture had collected inside the
casing. When we had a warm, sunny day in the winter months
condensation formed. One councillor claimed this was a design fault, but
it is probably more likely to be the failed sealant letting in damp.
The Town Council came
to an arrangement with the designer of the £18,000 timepiece for a
twice-a-year visit to adjust the time between Summer Time and GMT and a
maintenance visit. The original cost was met through Lottery funding.
THE clock doesn't need winding. As it
ticks away, a weight descends on the end of a plastic chain on to
a device at the foot of the casing, closing a circuit. This causes the
mechanism to be wound electronically.
If you would like to see
the clock next time you are in town, head for The Cocoa House Yard
between Hospital Street and Pillory Street. The Museum stands at the
Pillory Street end.
The Millennium clock on a sunny day just
after it was installed.
have always known this area as the Cocoa House Yard which
is more correct because it is temperance building -
The Cocoa House ! - offering the hot beverage as an alternative to