A Good Time in Radstock is the project to update and refurbish the Market Hall clock and restore its hour strike that has been silent for many years.
The Market Hall has been a central and prominent feature of Radstock for nearly 120 years and the clock has become a symbol of Radstock, featuring prominently on the new road signs, and along with the old mining headgear is an integral part of Radstock’s town centre.
In Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee year of 1897, there was a ‘vocal section of the public clamouring for a town clock’. George Coombs, who initiated the building of the Market Hall in 1898, listened to that cry; and the clock was installed in the new building by F.S. Lane (Frank Lane) a Radstock based jeweller.
To start with, the clock dials were illuminated by gas light. After 1910 the gas lighting was paid for by the Urban District Council in return for the public use of the lavatories in the Market Hall, there being no other public conveniences in Radstock at that time.
The gas lights were converted to electricity in 1932 but, by 2015, this system was no longer functional and the dials were no longer illuminated. Sadly the hour strike has been silent for many years.
As a contribution to the regeneration of central Radstock, and to restore pride in our town’s historic character, Radstock Museum, as custodian of the Market Hall, intends to bring the clock back into full operation as an accurate timekeeper, with automatic winding, with an illuminated dial and with the chime fully functional, but silenced at night!
It is estimated that the total cost of the clock restoration and upgrade is slightly more than £16,000.
This is broken down as follows:
• Refurbish clock movement and strike £7800
• Automatic winding £5100
• Auto regulation £2600
• Night silencing £ 850
The project will be done in phases and each phase will start as soon as sufficient funds have been raised for it.
The restoration will be managed by Radstock Museum using nationally recognised clock restorers and with advice from a highly experienced local horological expert.
PROGRESS SO FAR:
The project will cost over £16,000 and we are seeking grants from a wide range of sources. We are also fund-raising with local Museum Events.
In mid-November 2015, at the Dragons’ Den event run by Big Local: Radstock & Westfield, the Museum made a successful pitch for financial support from Local Trust for the Big Lottery Fund. “A Good Time in Radstock”, was awarded £500 to kick start the fundraising campaign for the clock’s restoration.
Thanks to this grant we have restored the Clock Dial illumination.
St Peter’s Church Camerton made a contribution through a fund raising organ recital.
We have received several public donations the most significant of which was from Australia in memory of a loved one from this area.
We held a fund raising Quiz in the Radstock Hotel at the end of Nov 2016.
We intend to keep everyone in Radstock informed about our fund-raising success for the project with regular updates in the local press.
If you would like a more personal update please sign up for the Museum newsletter which is distributed by email.