A Letter from Nantwich

February 2007 - updated in May 2020

It was time for action on town attraction

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.   

  

lI 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 alcoholic drinks. 

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