Mitcham saw its much-loved Victorian clock tower go off for a facelift and complete refurbishment this week.
As part of its £6.2m investment in Mitcham town centre, Merton Council successfully bid for £45,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money means that the clock will be brought back into full working order. It will also be repainted and the drinking fountain at its base will supply water once again. Where gas lamps once lit the clock face, electric lights will be fitted so the time will be illuminated for all to see.
The clock was carefully dismantled this week (20 November) by Surrey-based specialist clock makers Gillett & Johnston and taken to their workshop in Bletchingly. A team of expert clock makers and repairers will bring the clock back to life before it is reinstalled in its new Fair Green location in the first half of next year.
The Grade II listed clock tower was originally unveiled at Fair Green in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It originally stood on the site of the old village pump which was a few metres from the Orange Café on the Green. The clock tower has stood in its current location since 1990.
Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: “The Mitcham clock tower is an iconic symbol for Mitcham and it will be wonderful to see it working again and fully restored to its former glory. Seeing the clock in the safe hands of craftsmen is a significant moment in Mitcham’s regeneration. And I look forward to unveiling it next year as it graces Fair Green once again.”
Managing director of Gillett & Johnston Stephen Commbes said: “This is a beautiful example of a Victorian clock tower and we are looking forward to working on it. We know it is very special to many residents who live here.”
For the latest on Rediscover Mitcham, visit www.merton.gov.uk/community-living/areas-wards/mitcham/rediscovermitcham.htm