It’s time to get the clock ticking

Simon Allen carefully inspects weights and pulleys at West Station Clock Tower, Bexhill SUS-181004-091605001
Simon Allen carefully inspects weights and pulleys at West Station Clock Tower, Bexhill SUS-181004-091605001

A team of Bexhill Heritage volunteers have set the wheels in motion to get the West Station Clock up and running to keep perfect time for Sussex Day (June 16).

The four dials of Bexhill’s landmark West Station Clock have not kept regular time since the station staff worked their last shift in 1964. But a team of volunteers from Bexhill Heritage – the town’s new conservation charity - aim to get the clock ticking again on Sussex Day.

West Station Clock Tower, Bexhill SUS-181004-091617001

West Station Clock Tower, Bexhill SUS-181004-091617001

Simon Allen, who has been organising the project, says despite not working properly for over half a century, the clock wasn’t as bad as it could have been. “We found the clock’s mechanism in remarkably good condition,” he said.

“We’ve needed to make just three replacement parts but, after over fifty years of neglect, there’s been a huge amount of cleaning, oiling and adjusting to be done.”

Simon said the team found a major surprise waiting for them in the clocktower. “The railway clock winders staff, who gingerly climbed the ladders and crawled through the roof space, signed their names on planks inside the dome. Many of the signatures are remarkably clear and most are dated. We intend to create a database from this wonderful historical record. Perhaps names will be recognised by children or grandchildren. Some of the younger clock winders may still be alive and living in Bexhill – we hope they’ll get in touch to be guests of honour at our Sussex Day celebration party on June 16.”

The team are appealing for sponsorship for the project. To find out more or to keep track of the restoration project, visit the website at: www.bexhillheritage.org