Well-loved clock returns to town

A famous clock has now been reinstated in a County Durham town.

The Consett bus station clock that was once a meeting point for generations of folk who lived, worked and socialised in the area, has been now replaced.

Funding for this historical and well-loved timepiece was provided by Cllr Owen Temple and Cllr Alex Watson who both contributed money from their neighbourhood budgets. This was supported by additional funding from Durham County Council’s town centre capital programme budget. The money went towards the designing of the clock and the installation.

At four metres high it is hoped the impressive clock located on Victoria Road, will once again be a pinnacle focal point in Consett town centre.

The first clock to be situated in this area had hailed from the building of Consett bus station in 1936 and was decorated with a plaque commemorating King George IV. Since then there have been several replacements, but the last one was damaged and then removed when the old bus station was redeveloped.

In October 2016, the Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership (AAP) conducted a consultation where it sought the views and issues of residents in the town. It was found that the old clock was missed by many in the area and a campaign was started to get it back.

Residents had the opportunity to choose what design they preferred, where they favoured a Boston pillar-box clock that would keep in line with the town’s heritage. The new sturdier structure has also been designed to withstand the legendary Consett weather.

Derek Snaith, Derwent Valley AAP co-ordinator, said: “We are really pleased to be welcome this new addition to the town centre. I would like to say thank you to the councillors for contributing towards this project that has been loved by so many.

“Although our high streets are facing challenges it is great to see positive progress being made. With commitment from the council, local people and businesses our town centre can again be the vibrant heart of our community.”

The council is committed to improving the town centre as a whole, making it a better place to live, work and visit.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Ongoing regeneration of the county’s main towns has remained a constant element of the council’s work over the years, and is delivering significant visible improvements to the fabric of some of our town centres.

“In Consett, works along Victoria Road and Front Street have taken place, and survey works of Middle Street will be undertaken this year to help inform future improvements to that area.”