It’s time: Expert clockmakers called in to fix all the stopped clocks in Cardiff’s city centre
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Expert clockmakers are being called in to fix all of the stopped “iconic” clocks in Cardiff’s city centre.
The Echo Centenary Clock in Queen Street, the Monkey Clock in St Mary Street, and two clocks outside Cardiff Market have all recently stopped.
Ahead of tourism coming back, Cardiff council has been urged to give the issue “urgent attention”.
The council is now asking a clockmaking company called Smiths, from Derby, to come to the city centre and fix the stopped clocks.
The scale of the problem was revealed in a response to a written question at a full council meeting on Thursday, June 24.
Cllr Dianne Rees said: “Iconic clocks in the city centre are not working and have not been for some time.
“The Echo Centenary Clock in Queen Street stands permanently at 1 o’clock. The historic Monkey Clock — at one time in the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay and now the main feature of street artwork in St Mary Street — needs urgent attention.
“The Market Clock above the High Street market entrance to Cardiff’s iconic indoor market is not working.
“With the city centre hopefully soon recovering from Covid-19 pandemic closure and tourism recommencing, will the council commit the necessary funding to restore these historic, important landmark clocks to full working order?”
The problems range from a faulty power connection to a question of who owns the clocks. A full review should shortly be written explaining exactly the problems and potential solutions.
Cllr Russell Goodway, cabinet member for investment and development, said: “The council is in the process of appointing Smiths of Derby to undertake a review of the main public clocks in the city centre, in order that we can fully understand what is required to bring them back into use.
“The Echo Centenary Clock in Queen Street requires a new power connection which is currently being addressed as part of works to lighting columns in the city centre. The relocation of the historic Monkey Clock is being explored, potentially into the grounds of Cardiff Castle.
“There are two clocks associated with Cardiff Market which are not currently working. The large clock fronting St Mary Street, close to the entrance to the market, is not owned by the council. However, the council is seeking permission for it to be included in the review.
“The neon clock above the entrance to the market is owned by the council and will be included in the review. Once the costs associated with the repairs are fully understood, the council will seek to identify funding to bring the clocks back into use.”