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Work starts on repairing Sheerness clock tower


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Work on removing the Sheerness clock tower has begun.

Specialist engineers arrived on Monday morning to begin dismantling the cast iron structure as the Broadway was temporarily closed to traffic.

Kevin Allen on Sheerness town clock's repairs

Clock expert Kevin Allen, third from left, and his team about to tackle the clock tower in Sheerness town centre. They say it will take three days to pull down so it can be taken to Derby for a full restoration
Clock expert Kevin Allen, third from left, and his team about to tackle the clock tower in Sheerness town centre. They say it will take three days to pull down so it can be taken to Derby for a full restoration

It is expected the whole of the clock and its 36-foot tower will be ready to be craned onto a lorry to be taken away for refurbishment by Thursday.

The Grade II-listed structure was fenced off in February after an inspection found several serious defects.

Clock repair expert Kevin Allen, 59, and his team of three from Smith of Derby are removing the 119-year-old timepiece and taking it to their workshop 187 miles away for a full restoration.

The York stone seating plinth was removed a few days ago. An inspection will determine if a new base is needed.

The clock will end up with four reconditioned dials, hands, timing mechanism, new iron sections and specially-made lanterns to replace ones which originally hung from the clock tower. It will also be fitted with LED lights.

Clock expert Kevin Allen says it will take three days to pull down the clock tower in Sheerness town centre so it can be taken to Derby for a full restoration
Clock expert Kevin Allen says it will take three days to pull down the clock tower in Sheerness town centre so it can be taken to Derby for a full restoration
Scaffolding surrounds Sheerness clock tower as engineers prepare to dismantle it so it can be fully restored by Smith of Derby. It won't be back until the spring
Scaffolding surrounds Sheerness clock tower as engineers prepare to dismantle it so it can be fully restored by Smith of Derby. It won't be back until the spring
Scaffolding surrounds Sheerness clock tower as engineers prepare to dismantle it so it can be fully restored by Smith of Derby. It won't be back until the spring
Scaffolding surrounds Sheerness clock tower as engineers prepare to dismantle it so it can be fully restored by Smith of Derby. It won't be back until the spring

The red, white and blue octagonal tower, installed 1902 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII, will return in its original green, yellow and gold colours.

Scaffolding went up on Monday and work started on removing the roof.

Mr Allen said: "The roof should come off on Monday and on Tuesday we will tackle what we call the clock box. With luck we will have it all on the floor by the end of Wednesday ready to crane it onto a lorry to take it away to Derby on Thursday."

He added: "It is in a very dangerous state which is why it was penned off. Of the eight brackets holding it together only three have survived. There is also a lot of corrosion on the roof. I don't suppose it has been taken apart in all its 120 years so it might not be all that easy. But we have spent two days spraying it with penetrating fluid to try to make it easier."

It is estimated the repairs will cost £157,675 and take five months to complete with the clock returning in the spring.

Sheerness clock tower fenced off on Friday
Sheerness clock tower fenced off on Friday
Sheerness clock tower fenced off on Friday
Sheerness clock tower fenced off on Friday
How the red, white and blue Sheerness clock tower looked this summer
How the red, white and blue Sheerness clock tower looked this summer

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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