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‘It’s now time to bring the Arndale clock back’

A public meeting has been arranged to see if the Father Time clock could be restored.

TIME TO BRING IT BACK? the Father Time clock, which stood proudly in the Accrington Arndale Centre

It was once an extravagant centrepiece which drew big crowds into the town centre. However the Father Time clock, which stood proudly in the Accrington Arndale Centre, currently lies stored away in pieces after being dismantled nearly a decade ago.

A public meeting has now been arranged to see if there is any future for the 22ft clock and if it can be restored to its former glory.

Gayle Knight, creative director at the Civic Arts Centre in Oswaldtwistle, said there are “a thousand questions” which need answering and hopes the meeting will shed some light on the issue.

She said: “I know the clock is in massive, massive disarray. Instead of talking and whinging about it let’s just get everybody around the table and find out if it’s feasible and if it is how much it will cost. It will put an end to the debate once and for all.

“I am not campaigning to have it restored or saying it should be, but I am saying if we are going to do it then let’s do it properly. We need to find out what the situation is.

“There’s a thousand questions and let’s just get them all out there and see if there’s a team of people interested once they have heard all the issues.

“If it is possible then it will take a lot of fundraising and effort and we need to see if there’s that groundswell of support.”

The colourful clock, consisting of a sculpture of Father Time on top of a globe shaped into a flower, was located in the centre of the shopping precinct.

Every hour the globe would spin and open to reveal a band of devils and fairyland creatures playing ‘Rock Around The Clock’.

The clock, created by mechanical sculptor Andy Plant, stopped working in October 2003 and in February 2004 bosses at the centre were given planning permission to take it down.

Council leader Miles Parkinson said one of the tasks of the working group will be to determine if there is any external funding available to support the project.

He said: “The clock is the property of the owners of the Arndale and it is our understanding that the owners have taken responsibility for dismantling and putting it in safe storage.

“The owners are willing to donate the clock and have recently indicated that they would be happy to see the clock reassembled provided this is done close to one of the entry points to the Arndale centre itself.”

The ‘Let’s Talk About the Clock' meeting will be held at the Civic Arts Centre on Union Road on Monday, January 21 at 5.30pm

 

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