Published: 00:01, 24 May 2014
Ever wanted to turn back time? Well it seems that Herne Bay has – after hands on the Clock Tower were seen going backwards.
A mechanical problem has struck the seafront icon and caused confusion with residents and visitors who have wondered if the town has been heading into the past.
Canterbury resident Bec Tul was taking advantage of the good weekend weather and visited the beach with her family when she spotted the problem.
She said: “It was on Sunday when we went down to the beach for a walk in the evening. We got out of the car at 5.25pm and looked up at the tower and thought it was odd to show 6.25pm.
“We walked down to the other end of the seafront and then back, and all the clocks were going backwards.
“I didn’t have a phone or watch on me, and when I asked people the time at 6.50pm, the time said 4.50pm.
“I was confused because obviously the Clock Tower is supposed to be the main icon for people to check the time.
“It really should be in better keep because it’s been there for so many years. Lots of people really rely on it.”
Next week work on a £250,000 refurbishment is set to begin after cash was secured from Canterbury City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will last for 20 weeks.
The money will go towards improvements such as colourful LED lighting, four webcams at the top, historical displays and a new learning centre in Central Parade.
Friends of Herne Bay Clock Tower chairman Julian Jennings said they have been made aware of the timing problem.
He said: “It’s being looked at and investigated as there is something obviously wrong with the mechanism.
“It really should be in better keep because it’s been there for so many years. Lots of people really rely on it" - Bec Tul
“But we will look to repair it as part of the work, which is due to begin shortly. It will mean that there are some ugly scaffolding hoardings, but we’re looking to decorate them with artwork and paintings.”
The matter was also raised at an area member panel meeting, and Cllr Peter Lee (Con) said patrons at the Diver’s Arms had asked him about it.
He said: “I told them it’s probably not worth repairing at the moment because there is a lot of work about to be done.
“The council should have notices there to let people know that a major project is going on and that it will be a massive improvement for the area.”
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