12th January 2015
The restoration project has begun with the area around the clock being fenced off.
Scaffolding will be erected inside the clock and currently it looks like the dismantling will start on either Friday 16th or Monday 19th January.
We will stop selling paving stones on the 31st January.
It is therefore a last chance to be part of the clock’s future.
13th January 2015
Work on the clock itself has begun. Half the car park is now open again. It is expected that the scaffolding will go up sometime this week.
There is a lot of media interest in the restoration so Oakwood can expect quite a lot of exposure during the next couple of weeks.
Now looking like the clock tower will not now come down until Wednesday or Thursday of next week
The roof of the tram shelter is being removed. The snow is falling. Lets hope it does not delay things.
The people on site today are the ones who are going to construct the new canopy. Therefore apart from taking the tiles off the roof of the old canopy they have been measuring up for the new canopy.
The supporting struts of the canopy do not have a role in supporting the tower. The tram shelter is akin to a lean-to shed.
Incidentally you might be interested in the fact that we have been told by Harpal Singh (the owner of the block – through KD Properties) that work will soon start on demolishing the toilet block in preparation for the construction of the new restaurant.
Scaffolding has now been erected inside the clock tower. The idea is that the internal scaffolding will take the strain once the canopy struts are removed. (on the off chance that the canopy is not just a lean-to!).
Work has started on removing the tram shelter canopy struts. The work is going on apace. All very impressive.
Now that the interior of the clock and the steel core, to which the cast iron panels of the clock tower are attached, are exposed we can see the amount of corrosion that has taken place over the years.
Before the clock tower is dismantled a detailed inspection will be conducted in order to establish the best way for the various elements that make up the tower to be removed. The timetable for removal of the main piece which involves the panels is still likely to occur at the latter end of next week.
The inner workings of the clock have now been removed. The next stage is the removal of the hands.
It looks like the clock tower will now be removed Thursday or Friday next week.
It will be taken away in 3 or 4 pieces.
The main piece of the tower will be taken away with all the cast iron panels still attached.The clock mechanism has all been removed and work has started on removing the hands etc.
Tomorrrow the Farmers’ Market will be across the road on Park Avenue
Cold and snowy at the Farmers’ Market this morning but a reasonable turnout nevertheless. A good temporary home while the clock is being restored.
Lots of interest being shown in the paving stones – remember and get yours before 31st January.
Monday 19th January
Today the clock faces are being removed. A detailed survey of the cast iron elements is being undertaken to ensure that all areas of weakness are identified and the chances of damage as the tower is dismantled are minimised.
Tuesday 20th January
Today a trench was dug to enable the electric mains to the clock to be cut tomorrow.
Bracing to internal elements of the clock tower is ongoing
Notes have been placed on car windscreens in the car park warning that the carpark will be closed on Monday 26th to allow removal of the clock tower cast elements.
So Monday it is!
A bit of work to do before then though. Watch this space.
Wednesday 21st January
Today the electric mains to the clock has been terminated so the clock can be taken down and the groundwork undertaken safely,
As you can see there has been some snow on site but it isn’t lying.
The contractors are working away in the clock replacing bolts and generally making sure the clock tower can be taken down safely next Monday.
Thursday 22nd January
Today preparations to remove the clock tower safely continued. The main excitement on site was the arrival of Nicola Rees to film some of the work for BBC Look North. Nicola is a local resident and has taken a great interest in the restoration of the clock. Look out for a mention on Look North over the next few days. She’s clearly an intrepid reporter with a great head for heights!
It’s interest and support from local residents like Nicola that has enabled this restoration work to happen.
We would like to thank you all.
Now we’ll need to start planning for Oakwood Day (2nd May) 2015 when the fully restored clock is scheduled to be unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Leeds. For those of you who do not know, Oakwood Day commemorates the day, in 1912, when Oakwood became part of the City of Leeds. It is intended that Oakwood Day this year will not only celebrate that historical event but will also be a day that will herald the start of another 100 years of the revitalised clock being the pride of our community.
The removal of the clock tower is still scheduled for Monday morning.
Friday 23rd January
If you want to see the clock tower being removed be warned – the engineers are intending to be on site at 5.30 on Monday morning.
Maybe see you there!
This is will be the first phase of the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people – local and not so local. It all seems a bit unreal to see it actually going away. Its going to be very strange for Oakwood to be without the clock. Once the clock has gone work will be able to start on the groundwork ready for its return. We’ll try to get some pictures of the clock off site as it is being repaired and if we do we’ll put some of them on this site.
If you have any questions whilst the restoration is taking place please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to answer them.
Monday 26th January
True to their word on site at 5.30 and before long steps are being taken to remove the top segment of the clock.
The removal was filmed by Nicola Rees for BBC Look North and with any luck it will go out on their Wednesday bulletin.
It took longer than anticipated.
Here is the start of the tower being taken down
Here it is loaded onto the lorry and ready to be taken away
and here is a video of the top piece of the clock going off to be restored (Many thanks to James Ogden for supplying the video).
Here is a timelapse version of the start of the dismantling
Here is the lower section being dismantled:
and the lower sections:
and here is what’s left
When the panels were taken off the shelter underneath there were panels with grffiti all over them. Does anybody recognise their name or indeed – their handwriting?!
Tuesday 27th January
Not a lot of activity today – although the cherry picker was taken away.
It is anticipated that work to clear the site will start either at the end of this week or the beginning of next.
Wednesday 28th January
As expected not much activity on site today. However some of the bits of the clock tower went from Heckmondwike to Bradford today for shot blasting. I’ve arranged to go to Heckmondwike tomorrow to photograph what is happening to the clock at the moment. Watch this space.
Thursday 29th January
There was a light covering of snow on site this morning, No work was planned in
any event so no time lost. This degree of snow would not hold up the work in any event.
Going to Heckmondwike this afternoon – weather permitting – and will report back here.
Harry Tranter outside his Rhodes Engineering works in Heckmondwike this afternoon – where the clock has gone for restoration. Harry’s firm are specialists in the restoration of heritage items. He was good enough to give me a tour of the works. During the tour he showed me items from other projects that his firm have been involved in – including the restoration and renovation of York Railway Station
The clock tower has more than sixty separate castings. They all have to be separated from each other and then cleaned as part of the restoration. Harry said that if this is not done then in 5 years time the rust from the joints will start to seep through the paint and the clock will look as if its in need of further restoration. So the painstaking process of separating the bits without damaging them has to take place as the first stage of the restoration process. Harry and his team are sticklers for detail and take great pride in their work. They are determined to ensure that when the clock is brought back to Oakwood in three month’s time it will look like new.
Harry is going to send me photographs as the restoration proceeds and I will post some of them here.
Friday 30th January
For those of you who missed it here is the clip about the clock that Nicola presented on Look North
Monday 2nd February
Work has started onsite. Here is a picture of Paul Fairweather (left) and Graham Thompson (right). Graham has overall responsibility for all that happens on site. Paul and his men have started the redesign that the clock will have a sparkling new home to come back to.
The first thing to be done will be the stripping of the old flags etc.
Things are moving along with the clock restoration itself. Here is a picture of the unicorns that adorn the cupola of our clock. They are back in Heckmondwike after a trip to Bradford for shotblasting. That is the first stage in their preparation for regilding.They look in pretty remarkable shape!
Tuesday 3rd February
Work on site is beginning to pick up pace. Today the old base for the clock was dug up in preparation for the new
Wednesday 4th February
Today work started on cutting out the shape of the new flower bed by the bus shelter. This bed will be built up.
Here is the big hole that has been dug for the new foundations of the clock. If this is anything to go by there is absolutely no question – the clock will be here 100 years from now.
The foundations for the raised bed by the bus stop have now been laiid.
Tomorrow the first bricks will be laid and we will be following the tradition of planting some money under the first brick. (a very small amount of money!).
Tomorrow also the unicorns and the owl that sit on top of the clock are due to be gilded. If we get any pictures of that we will publish them here. Work is going on apace on all aspects of the project – the weather is perfect particularly to allow progress with the groundworks.
Tuesday 10th February
Early this morning a 50p piece was ceremoniously planted under the first brick to be laid in the wall of the raised planter by the bus stop.
Later today the creation of the new base for the clock will be commenced when concrete will be poured into the hole in the picture above
Wednesday 11th February
.Today the gilding of the Owl took place
Saturday 14th February 14th
Work on the area around the clock has moved on quickly this week and I think we’ve all been impressed at the amount of activity taking place.
Now that the concrete foundations for the clock are in place the work on constructing the steel framework for the clock will begin in a small way next week with the earthing of the lightning conductor.
Monday 16th February
Today the new foundations for the clock can be seen.
All the preparatory work for the base will be done this week. We hope that a start work on the actual steelwork and colonnade will be made next Monday.
Meanwhile work continues on the brickwork for the flowerbeds and the clearing of the site.
It is our intention to include the names of all the craftsman who are working on the restoration of the clock itself and on the revamping of the area surrounding it in the commemortive paving stones. In this way future generations will know the names of those involved in the restoration. We hope that they and their families will visit in the years to come and admire their workmanship.
Tuesday 17th February
Today the base for the clock was further prepared. Gravel was put around it to form the base for the concrete circle on which the colonnade will stand. Once set out each piece of the circle will be individually concreted in in exactly the same place as it was originally.
The objective is that by next Monday work can start on creating the new superstructure.
Meanwhile work is well underway on the creation of one of the new planting areas.
Thursday 19th February
Today the concrete base for the cupola and the steel superstructure was laid. Holes in the gravel were dug down to the concrete below ,where the colonnade uprights are to go, before the top layer of concrete was poured in order to ensure that the colonnade is based on a rock solid foundation.
Friday 20th February
Today the first planter was filled with topsoil and the top layer of blue bricks was started. On Monday we hope that work will start on putting the clock back in place. Holes have already been dug in the concrete to accomodate the uprights of the colonnade.
Monday 23rd February
It has been decided that work on re-erecting the clock will not now start until w/c 9th March. Although a later start it will not mean a later completion as what was previously going to be carried out in two phases will now be carried out in one phase.
Work is continuing on the landscaping. The second planter has now been marked out and a start made to the rest of the site being cleared.
Tuesday 24th February
Meanwhile back in Heckmondwike the clock is undergoing a transformation
On the right you can see the cleaned up mechanism and on the left we have the newly gold leafed “pegacorns.”
As these unicorns have wings they are apparently called pegacorns which is a mixture of unicorns and Pegasus.
Wednesday 25th February
Paul is happy with the progress on site. Today the trenches were dug and the ducts to hold the electric cables etc were put in and then covered over with sand. The bottom end of the site has been stoned up.
It is anticipated that they’ll start the block paving at the bottom end of the site and then work their way quickly all the way up to the clock end. The electricians have been on site.
Thursday 26th February
The lights to the planters/uplighters will be going in today. The ductwork to the main paved area is also going in and the area is being stoned up for the block paving – which is due in two weeks time. These activities will be continuing for the remainder of this week.
I think it demonstrates what a thoroughly professional job the contractors are doing. They’ve dug down until they’ve hit a solid base because this was one of the old flower beds. If they had block paved over this then within a relatively short time the block paving would sink and the surface would become uneven. They will fill this hole with stones and rubble and thereby provide a solid base for the block paving.
By the way best not to argue with the site foreman Paul Fairweather – he represented Great Britain for many years as a kick- boxer!
Friday 27th February
Before you know it the hole has been filled up with suitable material to form a rock solid base for the block paving.
Generally tidying up today. Making a big effort to recycle the very valuable topsoil from the planters.
Another good day.
Weather forecast is not so good for the weekend but hopefully Monday will see a return of conditions perfect for making decent progess
Monday 2nd March
The weather has been pretty poor today with heavy falls of snow and a cold wind. However the snow isn’t lying and the work on site is going on according to plan. The kerbs delineating the ground level flower beds are going in today.
I found out today the Graham Thompson (site manager) is a motorbike enthusiast.
He currently owns a 1200cc BMW and until 18 months ago had a 1600cc Harley Davidson. These are big bikes!
He attends motor bike rallies – the latest of which was at Breighton nr Selby and in the summer he’s going over to Belgium for a Harley Davidson convention – he won’t be allowed on site with his BMW! He’ll have to park it up outside the venue. He’s promised me a picture of him with his bike but for the moment here is a picture of him on site today.
Tuesday 3rd March
Today lots of hardcore arrived . This will provide a solid base upon which to put the block paving.Going to Heckmondwike this afternoon and will hopefully get some more pictures of how the clock is coming along.
Looking at the picture of the lorry unloading you would not think that it has been snowing heavily again in short spells today – or that there is an extremely cold wind.
It’s not stopping progress though.
At Heckmondwike things are moving quickly. The frame for the roof of the shelter looks huge!
The supporting frame has been constructed and will shortly be taken South to be galvenised before being brought back to Oakwood in a couple of week’s time.
Wednesday 4th March
As promised above here is a picture of Graham with his motorbike!
Also today more hardcore was spread on the site as we get closer to starting the block paving.
Thursday 5th March
The collonade is taking shape at Heckmondwike – using a new steel crame but the original wooden struts. It will come back in two bits that will then be bolted together around the new steel framework on which the clock tower will fit.
The water supply has already been installed and that will be finished by the addition of a cover to secure the outlet.
Friday 6th March
It is anticipated that a further load of hardcore will be delivered today and work will commence to ready the site to receive the block paving. As this happens and the site is cleared of extraneous materials the shape of the final area will start to become clearer.
In the picture on the right you can see the new water supply pipe temporarily covered with a cardboard box.
You can also see the new flower beds by the hedge.
The flower bed on the right will come all the way up to the pavement on Prince’s Avenue and it is here that we anticipate putting the information board about the history of the clock.
We are aiming to put another board at the bottom end of the raised flowerbed by the bus stop giving information about a heritage trail around Oakwood.
Tuesday 10th March
David Eade who planned the project and quantified the amount of materials necessary for the project was onsite today. Careful planning and attention to detail is key to the delivery of any project. If the project is delivered to spec and on time then David’s planning will have played a key role in that.
The whole area looks much bigger now that the central area has been cleared.Tomorrow yet more stones will arrive to further create the base for the paving.The whole project is still on track for a grand unveiling of the restored clock by the Lord Mayor on Oakwood Day (2nd May).
Wednesday 11th March
Today the guys continued to ready the market area for the block pavers but also started to tidy up around the edges of the site. A lot of the paving stones around the grounds of the clock are cracked and broken and some bits of the area are patched with tarmac. We have tried to tie the renewing of these bits in with the overall project but unfortunately as this work was not in the original contract it is not going to be done. There will be some patching, using old paving stones removed from the clock grounds, which will make it look not too bad but it is a pity that those responsible for the pavements and roads can’t use the opportunity of having the men and materials on the site to get the job done at what you would think will be better rates than those which will be available when the job has to be started from scratch. We will suspend judgement however until we see the result of the patching job.
Everywhere else is looking good. The large size of the flowerbeds has surprised some people but the idea was that by putting the flowerbeds (which have a similar total area to those there before the refurbishment) around the perimeter of the area the space that is left left would be optimised for events such as the monthly Farmers’ Market. It is possible that the market will not be so spread out in future will be seen as a downside by some but by creating one coherent space for the market it is expected that it will provide decent pitches for all the stalls and none will feel on the periphery. The proof will be in the eating of course and that will be tested both on Oakwood Day (Saturday 2nd May) and the first Farmers’ Market to take place on the newly laid out area on Saturday 16th May.
Thursday 12th March
The main thing that happened today was that the earthing of the lightening conductor was completed by the burial of a copper strip all the way round the base of the clock. You can just see it in this picture being laid in the base of the trench.
Yet more stones arrived and were laid.
The area is looking pretty flat now.
Monday 16th March
The clock has begun to come back!
The blockpaving is coming along nicely. An issue that has been raised is about the old benches. We’ve examined the benches and whilst they are clearly still
robust it is a shame that they have not been painted whilst off site. On balance we have decided that we prefer these old style benches to the new stainless steel ones. It has therefore been agreed that once all the dust from the block paving has died down they will be painted black – that should mean that they fit in more with the redesign. With a coat of paint they will be like new.
We are still looking to see what can be done about the pavement area around the site – which is in need of an upgrade. It would be a pity if what is clearly going to be an attracive spot is let down by the state of the pavements.
Finding a solution is however proving tricky.
Thursday 19th March
Today the air vents at the bottom of the tower were installed. This will mean that the air within the tower will circulate properly and there will not be the build up of condensation on the internal steel frame that caused so much damage to the previous frame.
The timing of the return of the clock has not yet been finalised. The current thinking is that it may be best to wait until all the block paving has been completed.
A decision will probably be made next Monday.
I intend going to Heckmondwike on Monday to have a look at how the restoration is going.
Watch this space!
Friday 20th March
Today we had a solar eclipse. I tried to take a picture of it over the clock site. However looking at all the pictures you would not know that an eclipse was taking place. I’ve tried to adjust the exposure of the photographs to make the eclipse visible without success.
Work on the paving continues
The clock will be back soon!
Monday 23rd March
I went out to Heckmondwike today to see the clock. Harry Tranter the Managing Director of Rhodes Engineering Group, who are restoring the clock for us was kind enough to partially unwrap the Unicorn which had been packaged up to protect it from damage on the journey back to Oakwood which will be next Monday (30th March). As you can see, the clock is looking tremendous.
They’ve done a great job over in Heckmondwike. Harry has taken a personal interest in making sure that a quality job has been done. I can’t wait to see it all back in situ. The restoration is being done in such a way as to minimise the need for ongoing maintenance but nevertheless once the clock is back it will be our main priority to ensure that it does not fall into disrepair ever again.
Wednesday 25th March
Today Paul has been rearanging things a bit to allow room for the crane in the car park on Monday. That is when the clock is due to come back to Oakwood. The crane will be lifting it back into place and if things go according to plan it will be working again before Easter.
A bit back I mentioned that Paul was a kick boxer – well he suffered for his sport. Here is a picture of his left knee.
His right one is just as bad!
I’ll take a picture tomorrow of where all the inscribed stones are going to go.
As well as the sponsored pavers we are going to record the names of all the guys who’ve carried out the work on the clock and the area on 9 pavers that are going to go down near the top raised planter.
Thursday 26th March
The area is extremely big and the pavers will take some arranging
They will be available to view on Oakwood Day (2nd May).
Let’s hope that our supporters approve of the layout. Without the many people booth from the local area and wider afield who have given generously of their time and money this project would never have got off the drawing board.
A big thank you to you all!
Friday 27th March
What a tremendous show it is too. What wonderful stuff they have created. There are pictures, models and stories all about the clock. They have drawn pictures of the flowerbeds and have written about the restoration and history of the clock. The scope and range of the work is extremely impressive. Here are pictures of some of it. It is hoped that some of the work will be on display in the Oakwood Library and at other sites on Oakwood Day.
The objective of the exercise is to have the clock up and running before Easter so that there is time to prepare the area for the unveiling on Oakwood Day.
If this happens then it will be a great achievement by Harry and his men from Heckmondwike – who’ve had responsibility for the clock restoration and fro Graham and Paul who’ve been managing the refurbishment of the groundworks on site.
Monday 30th March will see the start of the return!
What an excellent job the pavers are doing!
Monday 30th March
Today everything worked like clockwork!
The clock went up a lot quicker than it came down, The longest waits were to do with the time it took to go backwards and forwards to Heckmondwike.
The colours are amazing and the golden unicorns are just fantastic.
We have been waiting for this day for a long time – and now it’s here! Well done everybody. A wonderful result. Now if everything goes to plan the clock will be in full working order by Thursday.
Tomorrow the collonade begins to return.
Tuesday 31st March
The inscribed pavers will be going down – after Easter. The area that they’re going down in is 3.2 metres x 3.2 metres and is situated in the centre of the area you can see in the picture.
The paving stones are made of Perla White granite. The engraved lettering is picked out in black. The whole proces of engraving is quite labour intensive. A mask is created for each paver with the proposed inscription exposed. The paver is then sand blasted to create the inscription before the painting is done by hand.
Wednesday 1st April
The hands of the clock started going on today. The job will be finished tomorrow.
Here is Terry Hill who has been responsible for the refurbishment of the clock workings (including the hands and faces). I think that we’re all extremely pleased with the expertise Terry has shown in carrying out the restoration of the clock itself. He said that the workings had actually been pretty well maintained over the years which made his job more straightforward than it would otherwise have been. If you want to contact Terry about the restoration of other clocks he’ll be very pleased to hear from you. Here are his contact details which I photographed on the side of his van.
Nicola Rees from BBC was on site today to assist with the putting on of the hands.Here she is in the freezing cold up close and personal to the clock.
Above and beyond the call of duty I would say – but we’re very pleased that she’s taking such a keen interest in the project.
Apart from the clock faces there are going to be some new panels behind the seats of the clock. The Lord Mayor of Leeds will be unveiling one of them on Oakwood Day as a symbol of the clock being unveiled.
We had considered having the whole clock covered until the grand unveiling but we decided that that would be impractical – and in any event we wanted to show off the clock at the earliest opportunity.
We want to keep the panels under wraps until the unveiling but here is a sneak preview of part of one of them.
Thursday 2nd April
All the struts for the collonade are now in place and it is likely that the collonade itself will appear shortly after Easter.
The inscribed pavers are due to arrive on Tuesday and will be installed either next week or the week after.
Nothing further will now happen until after Easter.
Have a nice break.
Tuesday 7th April
What lovely weather we had over Easter – and it seems to be continuing.
Rhodes Engineering have the whole of this week off and will not be back on site until next Monday. Meanwhile today work was going on inside the clock. Whilst the clock is in working order there is not yet a permanent electricity supply to it. Today electricians were on site – working mainly inside it to sort out the wiring both to the clock and for the lighting.
Some people have commented about the 2 areas around the site where the existing paving lets the whole project down. We have agreed with LCC that these areas should be brought up to scratch. They are the relatively small area round the phone box which will be block paved – work started on it today.
The other area is the pavement leading around from the car park to the junction of Roundhay Road and Prince’s Avenue. This area will be repaved. Work on it will start as soon as the block paving around the telephone box is completed.
Over the holiday the hands of the clock have mysteriously moved so that it is now showing six minutes past 12.00 on all four faces.
Wednesday 8th April
They will be installed in the centre of the square and will be kept covered until Oakwood Day – when they will be unveiled by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire – Stan Hardy.
The block pavers are getting on with doing the area around the telephone box and will move onto the pavement area on Prince’s Avenue after that – prior to installing the inscribed pavers.
Thursday 9th April
Things appear to be moving quite slowly at the moment but there will be a big upsurge in activity next week when the collonade ‘comes back’. I say comes back because all the beams will be original but the collonade itself will be built in more modern materials and is designed to be more robust than the last one.
We hope everyone will agree that it is an improvement on what went before. It will be exactly the same shape as the previous shelter but we feel that it will be more suited to the present day.
There will be more lighting than before and it is intended that the seating will be more comfortable.
We have had some very positive comments from people about the metal support posts for the collonade and the frieze.
Now all we have to hope for is that the rest of the structure is received equally positively.
Tuesday 14th April
Work will continue tomorrow to complete it by the end of the week.
Also tomorrow the Inscribed paving stones are likely to be laid.
The clock is begining to look like its old self again – or to be more precise – much better than its old self. It is looking much more robust and weather proof – as well as being spectacular.
Meanwhile the electricians having been working to install the lighting and the power sockets. The benches are in the process of being painted black and the pavement on Prince’s Avenue is being repaved.
We are finalising the two lectern boards. The first board will be situated in the flowerbed up by the clock and describes the history of the clock. The second board is about the heritage trail we have created around the Oakwood area – starting and finishing with the clock. It will be sited in the raised flowerbed near the bus stop.
Wednesday 15th April
The decision was made to finish repaving the pavement before laying the inscribed stones. This was to try and ensure that Roundhay Environmental Action Project (REAP) members could have access to the edible bed – the raised bed bordering Prince’s Avenue by Friday. They need to have access to the bed in order to plant it up in time for Oakwood Day. Unfortunately they are now not going to be able to have access until next Tuesday.
Planting should also have started on the other beds today but is now going to start next Monday. Those beds are going to be planted up with plants chosen by Tracy Foster.
Work continued on the canopy today – and will continue again tomorrow.
The roof, which will be totally watertight, is designed to look like lead – but not so much like lead that people will try to steal it – a fine line!
Thursday 16th April
Work continued on the canopy today and on repaving the pavement on Prince’s Avenue.
Friday 17th April
It is taking a bit longer than anticipated to fit the new roof. We are using the old beams and that will ensure that the shape of the roof is exactly as it was originally – and the material we have used is designed to ensure that it stays that way. What the exercise has demonstrated however is that the removal of the clock from Leeds Market in 1912 and its erection in Oakwood in 1913 was not just a swap of location. A lot of thought and design work must have gone into creating the canopy – which was specifically created for the new location. The shape of the roof is quite complex and the beams are very substantial so the actual construction must have been quite time consuming and technically demanding. We have been careful to ensure that the shape is as it was originally and actually the use of the lead lookalike metal is giving it a lovely clean cut look. The care taken by the guys from Rhodes Engineering to make sure that it looks, and is, just right is typical of the professional way they have gone about restoring the clock. This is clearly more than just another job to them. It should be finished by the middle of next week.
What some people may not know is that whilst the money to carry out this project has been raised by local people Leeds City Council have been heavily involved in facilitating and co-ordinating the project and if it was not for their involvement this project would never have happened. It is a great example of the community and the Council working together to achieve a common goal for the benefit of all and we in Oakwood Traders and Residents Association would like to thank the Councillors and officers involved.
We will be erecting a lectern information board near the clock next week on which we will give a brief history of the clock. We will also be erecting another lectern information board near the bus stop which will provide an overview of the heritage trail we have created as part of our commitment to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Saturday 18th April
The site foreman says that it should all be down by the end of next week – in good time for Oakwood Day.
The design for the new restaurant that is to be built on the site looks quite interesting.
I think it should fit into the area pretty well and may very well become a “must visit” site – depends on who is running the restaurant of course – but what a view you’ll get of the clock!
Sunday 19th April
Work continued today repairing the pavement next to the clock on Prince’s Avenue. We’re hoping to lay the inscribed pavers tomorrow but the plans may alter depending upon how much work is left in order to get the pavement ship shape.
Monday 20th April
Lots happened today. We started laying the inscribed pavers. The planting of the beds started. The lectern boards describing the history of the clock and the heritage trail were erected. Further work was done on the canopy roof. The electric points were installed.and the work on the pavement was nearly completed.
We expect to finish installing the inscribed pavers tomorrow. They will then be covered up until Oakwood Day – when they will be unveiled by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire – Stan Hardy. Stan is a local resident.
Tuesday 21st April
On Oakwood Day there will be organised “Walks around the clock”. Just turn up at the Heritage stall on the day or follow this link for details:
The planting continued today.
We finished laying the inscribed pavers in the central area.
The bit in the middle is going to be filled with block paving until we decide what we want there permanently.
We have had a big upsurge in interest in buying inscribed pavers since we started laying these ones. A lot of people seem to have become aware of the opportunity fairly late in the day – and are sorry to have missed out. Whether we decide to make a few more available is something that will be decided once Oakwood Day is over. It is our intention to continue to improve Oakwood for its residents , traders and visitors. We are open to suggestions as to what our next project might be.
We are still looking for stewards for Oakwood Day. If you are prepared to give one hour of your time to make Oakwood Day a success please send your details to:
Wednesday 22nd April
The planting in the other beds is now nearly complete. It will be topped off tomorrow with the planting of 3 trees – 2 in the planter near the bus stop and the other in the bed at the top of the site behind the clock. The paving should all be complete tomorrow too. Once the canopy is complete the barriers can be moved and access allowed to most of the site.
There will be barriers around the clock until Oakwood day. Once the canopy is complete we can then install the inscribed stainless steel panels behind the seating around the clock and the seating itself.
There will still be the barriers around the inscribed pavers too – which will remain until they are unveiled on Oakwood Day.
Here you can see Joe about to finish of the inscribed paver area.
Joe has done a temendous job – the work on the whole paved area has been done to a very high standard and anyone wanting to get their driveway paved or other paving done should ask Birstall Premier Paving for a quote.
If you go to the entry for the 27th March above you will find their contact details.
Thursday 23rd April
The paving is all done. The canopy is nearly finished – the guttering still needs to be added.
The main thing left to do though is to fix the panels in place and install the seating. Some of that should be done tomorrow but it may not be completed. We’ll still have a week to go before Oakwood Day so I’m hopeful that everything will be finished by then!
The guys from Rhodes Engineering Group have said that they’ll help us to put up the bunting for Oakwood Day. I think that that exemplifies that tremendous cooperation and help that we’ve had from everyone involved in this project.
Friday 24th April
Little visible change today but inside the tower the electrics are being finished off.
One of the main features of the restoration has been the improvement in the power supply options to the clock and the surrounding area. There will a greater degree of flexibility in the power supply for use at events and a big improvement in the lighting options around the clock.
There are, for instance, some uplighters in the flower beds which will, from time to time, be used to light up the surrounding trees. There are also lights on the exterior of the clock tower to brighten up those dark winter evenings.
Monday will see the beginning of the final push to be ready for Oakwood Day – now only 1 week away!
Saturday 25th April
The edible bed has been a feature of the area around the clock for a number of years now – anybody can take produce from the bed completely free of charge.
Work will continue next week but already the demolition and removal, of what has been an eyesore for years, has given the local community cause to cheer.
The new restaurant to be erected on the site will, to a large extent, be constructed off site and this should minimise both the disruption caused locally and the time to complete the construction project. I can’t wait to see what it looks like – and what type of food you’ll be able to get there!
Monday 27th April
Today REAP did a bit more work on the edible bed. They have asked me to say how very grateful they are to Leeds City Council and to Paul Ackroyd in particular, at Redhall nursery, for the help they have received which is helping them to stock the bed – which is a great deal larger than the one they had before.
More work took place on the canopy and the lighting. Whilst the work done on the clock tower has been excellent it has been agreed that a little more should be done to give the lighting on the tower more of a finished look.
It is unlikely that that work will be complete for Saturday – but will be carried out very shortly thereafter.
The seating was installed and the panels started to be put on at the back of the seating area. That work should be complete by tomorrow.
The barriers were taken down and now apart from a relatively small area around the clock itself and the area where the inscribed pavers are, is open to the public.
Tuesday 28th April
Work continued both on the electrics and the panels today. The panels are not yet totally installed but are getting close. Testing took place of all the electrics and the clock is now working and showing a time! Here it is at 19.00 hours this evening against another lovely blue sky.
Not to worry I’m sure we’ll get it sorted tomorrow – which of course will come 20 minutes later for the clock than the rest of us.
Once the panels are installed and the clock is showing the correct time the only major things left to do will be to get the floor of the clock and the canopy finished off and the guttering installed – and then we’ll be ready for the opening. As I said yesterday some more work will need to be carried out around where the canopy meets the tower to create a straight line and to reflect the light from the new lights upwards to show off the clock – but that will be done some time after the unveiling.
Now if only we could make sure we get good weather for Saturday!
Wednesday 29th April
Well our clock still 20 minutes slow. Terry is coming tomorrow to sort it. Nobody wants to interfere with the mechanism or try and put it right for fear of doing permanent damage – and spoiling what has been a wonderful piece of restoration work.
Quite right too! So we’ll just have to wait for the expert – he couldn’t come today because he was down in London.
The three main things that were done today were firstly the gutters were put on, the resin and pebble flooring was laid and the lighting around the clock was altered to make it a bit less bright.
I think the consensus is that lighting up the clock is good – but it needs to be reasonably subdued and enhance our experience rather than overwhelm us. At the moment it is far too bright. Steps are being taken to make it less garish and a bit more subtle.
Tomorrow the portocabins go. Hopefully the panels will be finished off and further work will be done on the lighting and……………………………………….
the clock will start to tell the correct time – hopefully!
Thursday 30th April
I promised you that the clock would be telling the correct time today.
Not only is it telling the correct time we have a little film from Made in Leeds with Beth Krysta Wilson interviewing Terry just before he sorted it, and then me. Just click the link below
It will be shown on Made in Leeds tomorrow at 6.00pm and 9.00pm.
Can I assure you that the lighting on the clock is something that is currently work in progress. It won’t be left as it is. The lighting needs to enhance the clock and not be a distraction from it. We will make sure that is what the final configuration does – albeit it may not be done by Oakwood Day!
Friday 1st May
All ready for the grand unveiling tomorrow!
Be there or be square – as they used to say.