The story of Langport’s iconic Town Clock is reaching its final episode. Those who thought they were hearing things as the Clock has continued to chime can be reassured that it does exist when they see it, once again, in pride of place, above Langport Town Hall.
A quick recap – the Clock was due to have its face ‘made-over’ in a controlled and crowd-funded way. The plan was to remove its two faces, send them away for restoration and put them back up. Job done! And while the faces were dismantled, the Clock’s casing was also going to get a lick and a polish. But the rest is history, as they say. In the process of examining the body of the Clock, the clock experts found that the beam on which it was suspended was timber covered by lead and the wood had completely rotted through at the point where it joined the Clock. It was a miracle that it was still there.
To cut the story short the whole clock was removed in September and since that time Langport Town Trust has been working on how to get it back where it belongs. The first hurdle being the unplanned costs and the second being the logistics.
Taking the logistics, Langport Town Trust is pleased to announce that the Clock will be back on place by 12th April. That’s the good news, but the less good news is that there will be traffic lights for traffic passing through Langport and for the car park from 7th April to 14th April. The timing has been arranged to coincide with the first week of school holidays when there is less traffic at rush hours. All other solutions have been considered and expert advice taken but it is the only way.
The second hurdle, the costs, has not been insignificant. The additional cost of taking down and virtually remaking the Clock, the new beam and its installation which will require the removal of part of the Town Hall roof, the traffic control, the crane to lift the 160kg clock back into position, and making sure the mechanism is working has raised an additional bill of around £16,000.
This cost is a severe headache for the Trust but it will be met in part by generous contributions from Langport Town Council and Huish Episcopi Parish Council. Individuals and groups which would also like to make a further contribution, please contact Sarah Patten on 01458 259700 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
It will have been all worth it!