Saturday, 20 May 2017

Nantwich

Nantwich is a nice little town in Cheshire, originally made prosperous as a salt producing centre in the 10th century.

Walking up from the station along Pillory Street, we come across the jewellers of C H Moody & Son, which sports the standard Rolex clock.




On the High Street we find the timbered building which includes Hope House.






Nantwich's library was once in Pillory Street, with the building now used as a museum. The current library is on Beam Street, with its rear wall facing the bus station. And hence this has been put to use to provide a clock for bus passengers, as well as decorating an otherwise blank wall. Well done to the planners.





Nantwich town centre has many fine buildings, but the gem has to be St Mary's church.





This Grade I listed church dates from the 14th century, with restoration by the renowned architect George Gilbert Scott in the 19th century.




It is only with a zoom lens that you fully appreciate the level of detail of the gargoyles and other features, way up on the building.




Looking down instead of up, I saw this in the pavement on Hospital Street. I am not sure what the clock motive is all about, but it might be reference to the Millennium Clock.


After walking around the town, I was need of some refreshment from a local hostelry. A pint of Ruddles always goes down well. Anyway, it was I good time to do a quick internet search for clocks in Nantwich. And the one that came up was the Millennium Clock which I hadn't seen. Luckily it was said to be in Cocoa Yard, almost opposite to where I was sitting.

And so here it is, the Nantwich Millennium Clock.



It is not actually that easy to tell the time from this clock - you have to look quite closely, so no good for a quick glance as you hurry by.


And it wasn't showing the correct time either.






So, Nantwich - nice little town, five clocks.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Birmingham Big Art Project

The winner of the Birmingham Big Art Project was recently announced as being....a clock.

Well, not quite an ordinary clock, as told by the project's website www.birminghambigartproject.org.uk:

Susan Philipsz’s proposal is an aural clock. The clock will stand as a monument to time: past, present and future. It will comprise of twelve digits like any clock but each of the digits will represent a tone from the twelve tones of the musical scales. The sounds of ‘Station Clock’ will be made by the population of Birmingham and be produced in collaboration with the Birmingham Conservatoire. The tones will sound very low overnight and will be fuller sounding during the day, culminating in a large chorus at noon. For this 1:25 scale version the clock will sound every five minutes instead of every hour.

I took the following picture of the model when the shortlisted entries were on display in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Walsall

Off to Walsall in the West Midlands. I love these old advertising clocks, especially when the originally wording is left in place when the premises changes hands. Multiprint UK is probably a fine company, but I doubt that it prints handbags and brief cases. Although perhaps it is looking to the future of 3D printing. (But now having done some research, I see that Multiprint UK's parent company is of course Walsall Leather Co Ltd).


This building can be found at the northern edge of the town centre, on the aptly named Townend Road.


Shame the clock isn't working, but at least it is painted in a fabulous shade of blue.



Apart from the clocks, the purpose of my Walsall trip was to visit the New Art gallery. And for two reasons - firstly to visit an exhibition of Idris Khan's work ("A World Within", on until 7 May 2017), and secondly to support this wonderful gallery which is going through funding cuts. So if you get the chance, please pay a visit. You can't miss it - it is right opposite the blue clock above.



Back to the clocks. This is the Victorian Arcade.


And here is a clock!


Okay, so it is a modern one, but still nice to see anyway.




To the south end of the town centre now. A steepish hill and a few steps (which, with a swollen ankle at the time, felt like a major trek to base camp) leads us to St Matthew's church.



Now if you want old in Walsall, look no further than St Matthew's. Established on this site since at least 1200, the church was rebuilt in 1462, and then underwent further major restoration in 1821.


St Matthew's has had a clock since 1466, but the current version by J Smiths and Sons of Clerkenwell was installed in 1865.




This next clock sits on top of the Old Square Shopping Centre building, although it looks like it was originally something else. Anyway, there's that lovely shade of blue again.




Next up is the Hatherton Centre, which houses a number of Walsall Council services.



This is quite a nice brick building, not particularly stunning but not unpleasant on the eye. Unfortunately the clock face has sustained some considerable damage.




The impressive clock tower gatehouse below forms the entrance to the Arboretum, which is an oasis of peace and beauty in a busy town. The road junction that this gatehouse sits on must be one of the most pedestrian unfriendly in the country, but the clock leads you into another world.




The park was opened by the Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company in 1874, but was subsequently taken over by the council in 1881, whereupon admission became free.

The clock itself was installed in 1886.


Incredibly there were plans in 1967 for a new roundabout and flyover at this busy junction, which would have required demolition of the clock tower. Thank goodness sense prevailed.






At the far end of the park, by the café, stands this lovely blue clock.



This is not just an object of interest, a sit is clearly a working clock.


It was originally used to help maintain the timetable of either the buses or the trams.


Opposite the Arboretum, the clock on the High School can just be glimpsed.


Going back towards the town centre we pass the library, originally opened in 1906 with a 1965 extension. This clock is situated within the entrance.



We are now back in the town centre, with one of the modern old-looking clock columns.



Up above the Vision Express shop are the offices of First Personnel, who have a clock in their corner window.




And now for our final clock in Walsall.




I have seen reference to this being the old bus station building, which would make sense as it is next door to the modern bus station.







Bye bye Walsall.