Clock Sounds Again After 5 Years Silence

3 September 2010, 12:41 | Updated: 6 September 2010, 15:07

The historic Lansdowne clock has been silent for five years but its chimes are now ringing once more across Bournemouth.

It's all thanks to a fundraising appeal organised by The Bournemouth and Poole College Foundation. They collected enough cash to repair and refurbish the 150 ft clock

It was originally installed in 1911, and built by Shropshire firm J B Joyce & Co. Ltd.

The landmark clock tower building was gifted to The College. Principal Lawrence Vincent said, “We set ourselves an ambitious target to raise eight thousand pounds, and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of local people. Now, from this Friday, the clock will once again chime across the town, and people can use our accurate clock to check their own watches and appointments. We hoped to achieve this as part of Bournemouth’s Bicentenary year, and we are delighted to have attained our goal.”

One local resident in particular has a vested interest in the project. Paul Kilburn from Boscombe is a specialist clock restorer who carried out the repair work on its mechanisms and workings

Paul added, “I actually attended this college myself in 1991, and since then have been to four different colleges to learn specialist clock restoration and making skills. For me this is not just a job, it is a passion and I am immensely proud to be working on this particular clock for the next generation!”

The clock is now fully automated, so for the change over from British Summer Time, the clock will stop itself for an hour or eleven hours, and then automatically re-start at the correct time.

The well known building at the Lansdowne, forms part of The Bournemouth and Poole College campus, but The College receives no financial assistance or support for maintaining the grade II listed buildings, and recently lost out on major government funding due to education new-build cut backs.

Speaking of the culmination of the project, Lawrence commented, “As custodians of this landmark building we are immensely proud of people’s philanthropy and support. In difficult economic times, all donations large or small have helped us reach this notable event. This is a celebration for the whole town.”

The clock appeal has not yet closed, as there are still plans to undertake finishing touches including replacing some of the glass sections which are not broken, but which have become badly stained over the years, and also to install new back lighting which would illuminate the clock face more brightly at night.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can send their cheques to The College Foundation Clock Appeal, The Bournemouth and Poole College, North Road, Poole. Dorset BH14 OLS.