A historic clocktower is being carefully restored to its former glory after being severely damaged in a blaze.
The time piece has stood at the junction of Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath High Street and Parchmore Road since 1900. When it was vandalised last year, the Executive Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry, promised to have the much-loved landmark repaired.
Mayor Perry has now confirmed the restoration will be taking place, with the cost being met from the council’s insurance.
Croydon firm Gillett and Johnson, the original makers of the clock, will replace the mechanisms along with the four bespoke clock faces, which were all damaged beyond repair. The stonework also be cleaned and repaired and the electrical elements replaced.
The wooden roof and ornate copper covering will be rebuilt and a new fireproof door will be fitted to prevent a repeat occurrence.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: “When Thornton Heath Clocktower was vandalised last year causing extensive damage I promised that I would get this historic and much-loved landmark repaired and restored.
“I look forward to seeing this important monument back to its former glory as another step towards restoring pride in Thornton Heath.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
The clocktower was built to commemorate the turn of the century in 1900 and cost £300, half of which was donated by locals.
The site on which it stands was formerly known as Walker’s Green and was suggested as a location by Councillor Addison, who wrote to Croydon Corporation with his suggestion.
Within two weeks of receiving Addison’s letter, plans for the tower had been drawn up by the deputy borough engineer and were approved by the Corporation, which also agreed to meet half the cost of the project.
The stone structure was soon established as a well-known local landmark and became a focal point for Thornton Heath.
During the Second World War, the tower stood defiantly in an area which suffered badly from bombing. While an explosive fell close by, destroying the former tram lines in Thornton Heath High Street, fortunately, the clocktower escaped serious damage.
Last year, before the vandalism, the Mayor had asked officers to ensure the clocktower was cleaned and the area nearby was regenerated with new seating and planting.