After three years of telling the wrong time, the beloved clock on Gravesend’s historic town pier has today been repaired.
Local people raised thousands of pounds through a Gravesend Messenger campaign to fix the clock in 2003, and a total of £7,422 was used to put it back into full working order, but it stopped in 2014.
Responsibilty for the clock falls to Anastasia Zinkevich, the owner of Riva Waterside Restaurant and Bar, who leases the pier from Gravesham council.
Our sister paper - the Gravesend Messenger - got in touch this week to ask about the condition of the clock, prompting the owner of the plush riverside eatery to chase up a part needed for its repair, and today it's started working properly again.
Kate Howard Neal, events manager for Riva, said: “The upkeep of the pier is a huge undertaking, but some jobs take priority over others at times.
“All of them are essential to the this beautiful structure, which we take very seriously.”
Gravesham council had contacted the restaurant about the clock in the summer. Riva said that fixing the mechanism has been a priority for the management since May.
One man who will be pleased to hear of its impending repair is Cllr Mick Wenban – the former mayor of Gravesham who contributed to the original fundraising effort. He said of the clock being broken: “It seems a shame to me because lots of people helped to restore it.”
Gravesend Town Pier is the oldest remaining cast-iron pier in the world, designed by William Tiernwey Clark and constructed by William Wood of Gravesend, at a cost of £8,700.
It opened on July 29, 1834.