A set of unique clocks which became a landmark for generations of families during trips to Wicksteed Park are to begin working again after being painstakingly restored.
The four clocks which sit at the top of the park’s Pavilion began telling the time for visitors after the clock tower was donated to the park’s founder Charles Wicksteed by the Clubmen of Kettering in 1921.
But the clocks, made by the world-famous Gents’ of Leicester, have not worked properly for 20 years, due to the detailed and delicate work required to repair them.
Now the Wicksteed Park Charitable Trust, which owns and operates the park, has paid for them to be restored to mark the completion of the £2million lake restoration project.
The lake, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Kettering Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council has returned the lake to former glories and create a host of new attractions for 2014, including a paddling area for toddlers, a beach and a 90m pontoon.
Work to repair the cast iron clocks has been carried out by clock restorer Andy Adamson of Clockwise in Kettering, who has donated his time for free.
The clock tower is one of the first things which visitors to the park see but what many visitors don’t realise is that the four clocks are connected to a fifth clock which sits above the stage inside the Edwardian Pavilion.
A sixth clock in a nearby corridor acts as a master timepiece, allowing the hands on all six to be set to exactly the same time.
It is also believed that the clocks were originally linked to a seventh clock down at the lakeside boathouse thanks to an ingenious installation and wires running underneath the park lawns.
Wicksteed Park Managing Director Alasdair McNee said: “The Wicksteed Park clocks are an iconic part of the park’s history and we are delighted to have them repaired and up and running again.
“They have a unique history and we are keen to hear from anyone who knows about them. It seems that the ‘donation’ of the clock tower by Clubmen of Kettering in 1921 was actually a financial donation because the first part of the Pavilion construction only began construction in 1922 a year later and was completed in 1923.
“The clocks have been re-wired and re-connected, retaining the original features and mechanisms and we are very grateful To Andy Adamson for his time and painstaking work to restore them and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
“The Pavilion itself was restored last year and is becoming a very popular venue for weddings and events, so to have the clocks sitting proudly on top in full working order is wonderful.”
Wicksteed Park was opened in 1921 by park founder Charles Wicksteed as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and well-being.
Issued on behalf of Wicksteed Park
For further information, please contact:
Andrew Turner – Andrew Turner Public Relations