Monday, 23 April 2012

Raynes Park

Raynes Park station is just south of Wimbledon, and on my travels I have spotted these two clocks from the train.

The first is the well-maintained clock at Goodfellows estate agents on Coombe Lane, and can be seen from the train immediately before and to the left of the station if you are travelling into central London.

Full marks to Goodfellows for having a clock in good condition and that tells the right time.

The second clock can be seen from the train immediately to the north and right of the station. Congratulations also to the owners of this one on Kingston Road for also being in good repair and telling the right time. Clearly there is no excuse for being late for a train in this neck of the woods.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any other clocks in the area, so just a very short posting today.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


We move back down to the south-east this week, to the much maligned Slough. But for a clock hunter it is fertile ground with a wide variety of clocks.

First up, as so often in my travels, is the railway station. Getting a good view of the clock is very difficult with all the road works going on around, which at the moment makes pedestrian navigation a nightmare.

With improvement works also underway in the station itself, it is perhaps not too surprising that the clock is not working. And the theme of stopped (or at least temporally-challenged) clocks continues across the road (once you've worked out how to negotiate all the barriers) on Maple House on Windsor Road, and then on G D Evans' shop at the far end of the High Street.

Moving south towards St Mary's church, you pass the offices of Harris Cartier solicitors, whose premises at 7 Windsor Road have a large but plain clock. This one is working, but a few minutes slow. Something to do with the way solicitors charge their time perhaps?

And just round the corner is St Mary's church itself:

To the west of the town centre are two more stopped clocks. The first is on the elegant Slough Town Hall on Bath Road, and the second is on the Kashmiri restaurant in Salt Hill Park opposite (and both featured in one of Master Clock's blog postings).

Coming back along Bath Road, you can see this clock on the modern offices at No. 7.

And hurrah, this clock is working and shows the right time.

Shame the same thing couldn't be said about the clock tower of what appears to be the abandoned buildings of the University of West London. Or could be just an excuse for the students not to arrive for lectures on time.

I have left my favourite to last. The clock itself is not special in itself, but gets my vote because of its size, location, and most importantly the building it is on. This is the Horlicks factory that faces the main railway line.

Overall rating for Slough - good for the variety of clocks, poor for the number that actually tell you the right time.

And so to bed.......

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Nottingham (Part 6 - Outer)

The sixth and final instalment from Nottingham, covering the outer parts of the city. First stop is the northern end of the tram line - Hucknall (which I suspect local residents would see as a separate town rather than part of Nottingham). Clock-wise, the only notable feature of Hucknall is St Mary Magdalene church, which is the final resting place of Lord Byron.

Moving south we arrive at Bulwell. The Morrisons in the retail park to the north of the town centre has a strange but imposing clock tower. Reminds me of something that was built in the Cold War.

The clock tower on the shopping centre in the town centre itself is less impressive and tucked away down a side street. The locals looked at me as if I were mad to take a photograph of it.

Across the road is the more traditional and imposing clock tower of St Mary's church.

Okay, southwards, ever southwards. And to my favourite two clocks in Nottingham. Billy's Fish Bar on Arnold Road (sadly closed at the time) has this jolly clock (sadly not working at the time).

From the small Billy's Fish Bar to the mighty Star Brewery on Radford Road. The brewery looms up and dominates its surroundings, and at every moment you expect Tim Burton to appear making a new movie. The star clock itself is fantastic.

We move now to the west of the city, and the final four clocks on this tour. First up is Holy Trinity in Lenton which has one stopped clock and one that is about 40 minutes out of sync with the rest of the world.

The Boat Inn (re-built in 1922-23) in Priory Street has one small clock....

....whilst in the distance I spotted this large clock with no hands (the clock that is, not me) which I think may be the old Thomas Bayley & Co leather factory in Leen Gate built in the 1860's.

And finally, the impressive Trent Building of Nottingham University, set in parkland to the west of the city centre.

Finally we have completed our tour of Nottingham. The few architectural history facts that I have included are from Pevsner Architectural Guides - Nottingham, published by Yale University Press. Probably a breach of copyright, but hopefully I will get away with it by saying that the guides are well worth buying if you are visiting any major city in Britain.

So Nottingham - good clock hunting territory, great architecture, and a tram line (oh and the fantastic Nottingham Contemporary art gallery) - well worth a visit.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Nottingham (Part 5 - Outer Central)

There is a cluster of major buildings with clocks to the south-east of the railway station, in what could be described as the edgelands of the city centre. The first is the Hicking Building, built in 1873 as part of a large complex of lace warehouses. The building is now used, amongst other things, as a bar/restaurant.

On the other side of London Road stands the Eastcroft Depot of Nottingham City Council, built in 1878.

And next door is the old Great Northern station of 1857-58, originally built for the splendidly named  Ambergate, Nottingham and Boston and Eastern Junction Railway. Unfortunately the magic of the railways is no longer present, and the building is now a health club.

Sadly the new health role of the building doesn't extend to the clock which is stopped at 12.

On the other side of the city centre stands the Waverley building, next to the tranquil Arboretum. The Waverley building is part of Nottingham Trent University which has a magnificent collection of buildings with a wide range of architectural styles.

The wall in the foreground in the picture above marks the northern end of the general cemetery. The cemetery forms a green lung and a convenient route to the west of the city centre, where its main entrance is marked by a gatehouse. This is currently undergoing restoration, which hopefully will include the clock.

Two further clocks to go, neither of which were working. On Castle Boulevard, Ocean Designs are the current occupiers of this building, but clearly it must originally had a different function.

And over to the east of the city centre is St Stephen's church, where time stands still at 6.13.

And finally, a random picture with no connection with clocks whatsoever (I am hoping to get sponsorship from the Nottinghamshire Tourist Board) - nearby to St Stephen's is this windmill, rather an unusual find in a city.

Now only the outer parts to do before we can move on from Nottingham......

Monday, 2 April 2012

Nottingham (Part 4 - Victoria and Lace Market)

The Victoria zone is dominated by the eponymous shopping centre. Outside of the centre is the clock tower that is now all that remains of the Midland station. The clock tower, built 1898 - 90, is now dwarfed by the flats above the shopping centre. The contrast between the architectural styles is stark.

The inside of the Victoria shopping centre is the usual mind-numbing tedium of such places. The only relief (apart from the exits!) is the Rowland Emett clock of 1973, known as the Aqua Horological Tintinnabulator.

Adjoining the shopping centre is another bus station, smaller than Broadmarsh and with  similar level of clock interest:

And the final clock in the Victoria zone is a stopped one over a motorbike shop on the corner of Huntingdon Street and Kent Street.

And so one to the last of the city centre zones, Lace Market.

St Mary's on High Pavement is the second largest parish church in Nottinghamshire, and originally dates from the 12th century.

Lace Market is the home of two really nice shop clocks, even though one is a relic from an occupier that has now long-gone. W. Taylor jeweller is on Carlton Street.....

.... whilst the Lewis and Grundy clock is on the nearby Victoria Street. The original ironmongers (hence the blacksmith automatons above the clock) has now been replaced by a bar, and unfortunately the clock is not working. But a splendid clock never-the-less.

Just round the corner on the junction of Pelham Street and High Street is this clock over Zara:

The final clock in the Lace Market zone is at the Victoria Leisure Centre (which like Victoria Street is not in the Victoria zone, but life can't always be logical). The centre was originally built in 1895-96, but has been updated with a modern extension. The centre is on Bath Street.

That's the city centre completed. Just the outer areas to go....