Everyone in Wednesbury and beyond know the clock tower in the Market Place, and we know such things as when or why it was built.
But have you ever ‘really’ looked at it?
I mean REALLY looked at it!
I will be the first to put my hand up and say “No, actually besides knowing it is there as I pass by or park by it, no I haven’t really looked at it at all.
But that will soon change when I get back to Wednesbury next visit, because I need to check out the descriptions below.
(I know there are three steps, because I used to sit there eating my hot potato from the ‘Hot Potatoes van’ that used to park there)
Anyway, I don’t think I have ever come across so much detail before:
The Clock Tower of Wednesbury.
The stone plinth stands on a base of three stone steps, while the brick shaft has stone reliefs on each side.
On two faces they show the Wednesbury Borough coat of arms, with the George V Royal Crest on the third side, and a scrolled letter M on the fourth.
In each wall face is a slot window and at ground level there is an oak entrance door and frame on one side.
The upper part of the tower is more ornate, and provides a striking contrast with the simpler brick base.
The shaft is capped with a cornice which forms the base of the stone-faced clock housing.
Four sets of short Ionic columns set diagonally at each corner support a frieze and deep cornice.
On each corner in front of the two columns are wrought iron painted stands containing lighting.
Inset into each side is a clock face (modern replacement), while a circular copper clad dome and finial enclose the top of the tower.
The dome is paneled and has a garland worked around its base. The clock faces are surrounded by carved swags and above the upper cornice there are three stepped reductions back to the dome.
The clock tower was built in the place once occupied by Wednesbury’s old butter market cross, which was demolished in 1824.
The coronation scheme was initiated by the Mayor on 16 March 1911, with the memorial of the clock tower and a clock in Brunswick Park.
The Mayor James Hunt and the town clerk Thomas Jones both contributed £100 each to launch the fund.
The Midland Advertiser records that the memorial fund was very popular among the people of Wednesbury, and of the £1,140 was raised for the fund, £400 was set aside for the clock tower.
The tower was built to commemorate the Coronation of George V (1865-1936) in 1911.
On plaque on side of clock tower:
THIS CLOCKTOWER/ was built by Public Subscription/ to commemorate the CORONATION OF KING GEORGE V,/ and the foundation stone was laid/ on 22nd June 1911 by/ COUNCILLOR EDWIN JAMES HUNT, J.P.,/ MAYOR OF WEDNESBURY/ THOS. JONES/ TOWN CLERK/ C.W.D JOYSON/ ARCHITECT/ SUMMERHILL & JELLYMAN, BUILDERS.
On plaque in front clock tower on the pavement: ‘WEDNESBURY/ CONSERVATION AREA/ MARKET PLACE/ ENHANCEMENT JUNE 81’
Now, someone just has to go and check these details for me!
It’s Saturday tomorrow, why don’t you all nip to the town and hang around the clock taking notes?
(I wander if quite a few actually decide “Why not” and do go tomorrow?
You will cause a stir in Wednesbury town if you do!)
Oh and don’t forget though, I need you to check the descriptions of the dial face!
(“What’s going on by the clock Mommy?”
“Oh nothing darling, it just looks like a bunch of weirdo’s are trying to climb the clock”)