Restoration nears completion - August 2002

BRIGHTON’s historic

Jubilee Clock Tower is to

receive its newly

restored mast and rising

ball mechanism this

Monday, 2 September.

The delicate operation

involves lifting the new

bronze mast, complete

with a gilded copper ball

weighing 100 kilos, to

the top of the tower and

securing it in place. To

ensure safety the work

will be carried out

between 00.30am and

6.30am on Monday morning.

All the roads around the

Clock Tower will be

closed to traffic, and

pedestrians will also be

prevented from entering

the immediate area.

Councillor Chris Morley,

chair of the environment

committee, said: “This

will be an historic

moment. The Clock Tower,

built in 1888 to

commemorate Queen

Victoria’s Jubilee the

previous year, has not

been fully operational

for 100 years, so it

entirely fitting that we

are bringing it back to

full working order

during Queen Elizabeth’s

Golden Jubilee this


The rising and falling

ball was originally

stopped in 1902 as the

noise was said to be

“frightening the horses.”

Once operational the ball

will rise up and down the

mast, hourly, in

synchronisation with the

hands of the clock.

Following installation of

the mast and ball the

scaffolding will remain

in place while the

finishing touches are

added. These include

painting and additional

gilding work to the

scales at the top of the

tower, in accordance with

the original appearance,

further cleaning, and

reinstatement of the

refurbished clock hands.

Weather permitting, these

works are expected to be

completed by the end of

September, but fine

weather is essential to

carry out the additional


The total cost of the

completed project will be

in the region of

£100,000, and includes

contributions from Boots

and The Regency Society.

The works on Monday

morning are being carried

out by Lifting Gear

Engineering, of Erith.

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