Clock Tower gifted to the town 1888
‘The Clock Tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee of 1887. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Arthur Otway on 20 January 1888, the seventieth birthday of James Willing, who gifted the clock tower to the town; it cost £2000. The Mayor of Brighton, Alderman Edward Martin, in his acceptance speech on behalf of the town said, ‘May the contemplation of it (the Clock Tower) fill our hearts with gratitude for the unnumbered mercies we have enjoyed in this benificent reign, and make us exclaim in loyalty and love ‘God Bless The Queen’. James Willing then presented the Mayor with a gold-plated key to the tower.’
History comes full circle
The above text is an extract from a page I published in 2013. You will see a mention of ‘a gold-plated key to the tower.’ I am pleased to report that recently Alderman Edward Martin’s great-great grandson Brett Dubois, met with the present Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Pete West to pass on that famous key. It now has pride of place in a display cabinet in the Mayor’s parlour and history has come full circle.