Iconic Whitley Bay clock restored after being damaged in Storm Arwen

An iconic clock that was destroyed by Storm Arwen will have its time again after being lovingly restored and returned to Whitley Bay.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 3:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 4:18 pm
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE with Cllr Sandra Graham, Cabinet Member for the Environment, with the clock on the seafront.
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE with Cllr Sandra Graham, Cabinet Member for the Environment, with the clock on the seafront.

Grant’s Clock, often referred to as the ‘little sister’ of St Mary’s Lighthouse, was left in pieces by the storm, which battered the North Tyneside coast in November 2021.

The clock face was torn off, the glass was shattered, and the movement destroyed.

North Tyneside Council turned to the specialist restoration experts, Smith of Derby, to see if they could rebuild it.

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The damaged Grant's Clock.

Now, six months since it was destroyed, the timepiece is back where it belongs on a walkway above the Central Lower Promenade – and the column on which it stands has been given a fresh coat of ‘Whitley Bay blue’.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “Grant’s Clock is a well-known landmark in Whitley Bay, and it was heart-breaking to see the state of it once the storm had blown over.

“We know how much the clock means to local people and we were determined to get it back on public display.

"The experts have done a remarkable job of restoring it and the column has been repainted ‘Whitley Bay blue’ to ensure it looks its very best.

“From now on, the clock will always remind me about the challenges we faced last winter, and the amazing response of our staff whose job was to keep people safe from fallen trees and debris, clean up the borough, repair people’s homes, and clear highways.

“They showed incredible resolve and dedication in coming to the aid of our residents and though there is still some work to be done, the return of Grant’s Clock is the final major piece of storm damage, and it now stands in testament to the resilience of our borough.”

Council workers embarked on a huge clean-up effort in the aftermath of Storm Arwen, one of seven named storms that battered the North East in quick succession.

They visited more than 1,000 homes to check on the welfare of residents; secured more than 100 potentially dangerous structures, inspected more than 400 trees, and identified more than 800 issues with roofs and fences. The contact centre dealt with more than 5,000 damage reports or calls for advice.