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Historic Wednesbury Clock Tower now restored | Sandwell Council

Historic Wednesbury Clock Tower now restored

Published 24th March 2022

The photograph at the restored Clock Tower shows, left to right, Wednesbury Town Chair Councillor Simon Hackett; Councillor Luke Giles, Councillor Elaine Costigan and Councillor Peter Hughes; and Deputy Town Chair Councillor Ian Chambers.
The photograph at the restored Clock Tower shows, left to right, Wednesbury Town Chair Councillor Simon Hackett; Councillor Luke Giles, Councillor Elaine Costigan and Councillor Peter Hughes; and Deputy Town Chair Councillor Ian Chambers.

Repair and restoration works on the historic Clock Tower at the heart of Wednesbury have been completed.

The works by specialist heritage contractor Midland Conservation Limited included new stonework, the removal of vegetation, localised pointing and careful cleaning of the structure.

The clock’s mechanism and face have been repaired by the specialist historic clockmakers Smith of Derby, enabling the Clock Tower to now give accurate time. The internal bell will be repaired early in the new financial year.

Built in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of George V, the red brick and sandstone tower was designed by local architect Charles William Davies Joynson.

The works are part of the Wednesbury High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project to re-establish the historic character of the area and create a vibrant, welcoming space.

The Wednesbury HSHAZ project, which is led by Sandwell Council in conjunction with Historic England, proposes:

  • Public realm improvements to Market Place, featuring the enlarging of pedestrian space to create a multi-use event space, and high-quality paving materials
  • The relocation of the open-air market to Market Place and the top of Union Street
  • Improvements to the clock tower
  • Enhancements to the buildings within the conservation area
  • Cultural and community activities.

Louise Brennan, Historic England's Regional Director for the Midlands, said: "Wednesbury's handsome 20th century Clock Tower is an important part of the town's identity. Completing comprehensive conservation and restoration works will protect the tower for the future and give the high street a lift. Historic England is proud to be working with Sandwell Council on the Wednesbury High Street Heritage Action Zone which we are confident will encourage residents and visitors alike to continuing supporting and loving their high street."

Councillor Simon Hackett, Wednesbury town chair, said: “The restoration of Wednesbury Clock Tower is a key part of our aspirations to improve the public realm within Wednesbury town centre. These improvements will create a vibrant, welcoming space for residents, businesses and visitors, and boost the local economy.” 

Councillor Iqbal Padda, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “The works on Wednesbury Clock Tower restore it as an important part of the town centre’s rich heritage and culture. It will be a focus for this vibrant town, making people feel proud of where they live, work, shop and socialise, creating an environment for inclusive economic growth and supporting strong, resilient communities that benefit from new opportunities.”

The Wednesbury HSHAZ project is part of Sandwell Council's commitment, in partnership with Historic England, to help the borough’s struggling high streets and to highlight the historic significance of the area. The heritage-led regeneration scheme runs until March 2024.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/regenerating-historic-high-streets/

Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. They protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. Historic England care passionately about the stories these places tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists, Historic England share their passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.