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Herne Bay's clock tower needs new friends

By Herne Bay Times  |  Posted: October 10, 2013

By Liz Crudgington

  • TIME TO ACT: Herne Bay clock tower

  • BACK TO THE FUTURE: Prince Charles' clock repairer, Kevin Sheehan, visiting the clock tower earlier this summer

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THE clock is ticking for a project to bring a Herne Bay landmark back to the future.

The clock tower has already won approval from royal clock-repairer Kevin Sheehan, who looks after all Prince Charles' timepieces and visited in the summer for a tour and now it is your chance to get involved.

Canterbury City Council officials have secured initial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to refurbish the structure, and are now appealing for people to join a Friends of Herne Bay Clock Tower group.

A working group involving members of several existing community groups has already been set up, and now more active volunteers are needed to organise clock tower-related activities and events.

Julian Jennings, chairman of the core group, said: "This a great opportunity for the people of Herne Bay to get involved in what will quickly become a very important community group in the town.

"The clock tower is the first purpose-built clock tower in the world and a great asset to our glorious seafront. We want new members to come along and use their range of skills to help promote and protect it in a number of innovative and exciting ways."

The former Pier Trust Gallery will become a clock tower shop, hosting exhibitions and workshops. It will also act as an information hub, and events will be planned for the clock tower plaza.

Officials are planning a total restoration of the tower, subject to full Heritage Lottery funding, including a state-of-the-art tidal-linked lighting system with changing colours, and live video feeds from all four openings on the dome.

They have already been awarded a £16,100 development grant towards the £348,000 project, and the council will contribute £100,000.

For more information or to join, visit www.clocktower friends.org, e-mail info@clock towerfriends.org, "like" the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/friendsofhernebayclocktower, or follow @BayClockTower on Twitter.

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