A company’s leading engineer will carry out a full survey of the clock on the town’s war memorial, as discussions continue about repairing the iconic structure.
Crucial work is needed to fix the Town Square monument after an inspection showed that rain is leaking through the roof and stopping the clock.
On Thursday, clerk Elaine Brown gave an update on the situation. A letter from bespoke clock-making firm Smith of Derby read: ‘When our engineer recently attended to carry out the planned routine annual servicing of the clock, he discovered the clock was stopped and the strike weight was on the floor.
‘His investigations revealed that due to excessive damp, which we think is due to a leak in the roof, part of the clock and auto-wind units have seized up, not fully but partially. Our engineer carried out partial cleaning and did leave the clock working, but he has expressed a lack of confidence that it will continue to work reliably. It is his opinion that the auto-wind units should be brought into our workshop for dismantling and cleaning etc; and that upon re-fitting them the clock mechanism should be dismantled/cleaned to completely remove the impact of the damp environment.
‘We have one of our leading engineers in the area on the week commencing March 14 and I have asked him to carry out a full and thorough survey of the clock and associated equipment, so we can put together a more detailed report for you which may well form part of the general refurbishment proposals.’
The decision to dismantle the auto-wind system has been delegated to clerk Elaine Brown, should the engineer consider it necessary, and being guided by the engineer’s report, Miss Brown was also delegated to take any other immediate actions required to prevent further deterioration.
The town council acknowledges the importance of the war memorial and is attempting to have repairs carried out as soon possible, guided by the correct methods due to its listed status.
A pre-grant inquiry to the War Memorials Trust encouraged the council to submit a grant request for a condition survey. The current response time is up to 10 weeks so it was agreed to progress the condition survey without grant funding and a grant application would be submitted for any repairs based on the findings of the condition survey.