‘Historic gems: West End Development Corporation facilities manager Carmen Beach climbs up the Clocktower. The clockfaces are due to be resurrected by WEDCo. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
‘Historic gems: West End Development Corporation facilities manager Carmen Beach climbs up the Clocktower. The clockfaces are due to be resurrected by WEDCo. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
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‘Stop all the clocks,’ WH Auden once wrote in a famous poem.

Unfortunately his words seem to have been taken rather literally by the four clock faces on the western tower of the Clocktower Mall.

For several years the Dockyard tower has provided little insight as to the time of day for visitors and locals alike.

Most of the faces do not have minute and hours hands any more, let alone work.

But plans are now afoot to remedy this situation and resurrect the four faces that once looked proudly over Dockyard.

The project to ‘re-start the clocks’ has been taken on by the West End Development Corporation.

And it has enlisted the help of historian and National Museum curator, Dr Edward Harris, to get the job done properly.

WEDCo General Manager, Andrew Dias, told the Bermuda Sun: “We felt it was about time that these old clock faces were brought back to working order.

“These towers are historic gems and we need to make sure they stay that way.

“We have been talking with experts in the trade to see what our options are moving forward.

“We need to modernize the systems that drive the hands, but at the same time we don’t want to change the appearance of the faces from what they used to look like.

“We need to preserve the history of the clocks but bring them up to date in a way that will see them working for many years to come.”

The original clock that was housed in the western tower of the Clocktower Mall dates back to 1856.

It was made by John Moore of London and installed in the late 1850s.

The clock had four dials and high winds often altered the hands, so it was known as “the four-faced liar”.

The clockwork was taken from the turret 20 years ago and has been restored as working exhibit at the National Museum.

While the eastern tower only ever had one working face and one hand that indicated the time of high tide for shipping.

Dr Harris told the Bermuda Sun: “We are in discussions with British horologist, Dr Edward Cloutman at present about what the best way of moving forward with this project is.

“Dr Cloutman has visited Bermuda before and is an expert in his field.

“It would be a major feature if we could get the western tower clocks working again.

“The tower clocks are major historical markers and fetch back to the days when most people could not afford watches and relied on these clocks to tell the time.

“They are part of the working history of Dockyard and it would be great to see them working again.”

Mr Dias added: “We have started work on the project already and we hope to have the clocks up and running before the end of the year.

“It would be nice if we could get it done by the beginning of the summer season but we will have to wait and see.”