IT HAS been the subject of controversy ever
since it was installed
in 2000 as a symbol of the new Millennium in Nantwich. It clearly was
not what the town was expecting.
Just what do you produce that
marks an new era in Man's calendar? Well, something with which you can
easily tell the time would be useful. But with its three dials - one
each for the hours, minutes and seconds - and the hours, etc, etched on
to the outside of the clear casing, the town's new timepiece has a been a
talking point if nothing else. Many are the visitors to be seen
scratching their heads as they try to make out what the time is.
But now the clock has been
making the news again. Some don't like it and think it should be taken
away, and others are not happy that as well as trying to sort out what
time the clock is displaying, you currently have to peer through a
screen of condensation on the casing (right). There is a thin "mist" on
the sides and "blobs" of condensation on the underside of the top.
It no doubt didn't help that
the sealing around the edges of the glass(?) sides seemed to have failed
- or was it vandalised? - to the extent that people started pushing
coins into the casing along the lines of a wishing well or any other
small area of water
such as a fountain or stream - that
can be found in public places.
This was sorted out and the
sealant was renewed. But not before moisture had collected inside the
casing. Now when we have a warm, sunny day in the winter months
condensation forms. One councillor claimed this was a design fault, but
it is probably more likely to be the failed sealant letting in damp.
Whether this can be dealt with
now, or we will have to wait for the warmer weather and a good polish to
solve the problem, I don't know.
But the Town Council has come
to an arrangement with the designer of the £18,000 timepiece for a
twice-a-year visit to adjust the time between Summer Time and GMT and a
maintenance visit. The clock doesn't need winding. As it
ticks away, a weight descends on the end of a plastic chain on to
a device at the foot of the casing, closing a circuit. This causes the
mechanism to be wound electronically.
The original cost was met
through Lottery funding.
If you would like to see the
clock next time you are in town, head for The Cocoa Yard between
Hospital Street and Pillory Street. (The Museum stands at the Pillory
have always known this area as the Cocoa House Yard, which is
more correct because it is the site of a temperance building -
The Cocoa House ! - offering the hot beverage as an alternative to
Picture above: the Millennium
clock on a sunny day just after it was installed - a picture I took for
the Nantwich Museum website.
NOTE: With the arrival of the warmer weather the case has cleared and
the clock can be seen clearly.