Monday, 6 March 2017

Manchester - a few more clocks

A quick visit to the north-west enabled the discovery of a few more clocks in Manchester. The main survey can be found over five postings I made in June 2015, but one inevitably misses a few out.

So this is the John Owens Building on the University of Manchester campus along Oxford Road. The building is in a quadrangle which is hidden from the road by the Manchester Museum (from whose windows I spotted it - you never know where a bit of education will lead you).

Next stop is the southern end of Deansgate, whilst I was on my way to the Museum of Science and Industry (there is a theme here). A fairly standard clock, but good to see nevertheless.

The building currently houses the Institute Cervantes, a Spanish language school.

This part of Deansgate is worth visiting just to see the uniform fa├žade of the buildings.

Opposite is Deansgate station. Or Knott Mill station depending on which sign you wish to believe. I would love to go with the latter because of the style and permanency of the sign, but sadly the inelegant Deansgate one is correct. The station was opened as Knott Mill in July 1849 (if you think that is old, the aforementioned Museum of Science and Industry contains the original station building from the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, dating from 1830 - we will come to that in a moment). The current building is more modern - a mere 121 years old. It was renamed as Deansgate in 1971. And was there originally a clock above the name?

The current clock can be found on the city centre bound platform.

And so on to the Museum of Science of Industry - plenty of good old fashioned solid engineering, and quite a lot of railways engines and aeroplanes.

Plus of course the original station building from 1830. Which has two clocks - one on the platform...

...and one in the booking hall.

So a few more clocks to add to the Manchester collection, but if you know of others out there (and there surely must be some), please let me know.

Sunday, 26 February 2017


My visit to Strood was back in July 2016, so this is catching up with my backlog of posts.

Just to start with something different, I have seen this submarine in the Medway out of the window of the train back from Margate, so it was one of the sights I wanted to see when I was able to visit the area.

There is also reference to it in the book "Explore Everything : Place-Hacking the City" by Bradley L. Garrett, where it describes it as a Black Widow Soviet sub U475.

Back to the clocks, of which I could only find three in the town. First stop is the church of St Nicholas.

The church was designed by Robert Smirke, and was opened in 1814.

In 1898, the inside of the tower, including the clock, was destroyed by fire. A replacement clock by Smith & Co. was installed the following year.

Next up is the Morrisons supermarket, on which I have no further information.

And then the Michael Gill building, mixed use premises in Tollgate Lane. Again, I have no further information.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Eastbourne (Part 2)

It must be time to visit the pier. I just love these structures, which are on one level totally ludicrous, but on all other levels are completely wonderful.

The land end of the pier has an entrance structure with that unfortunately all too common feature - a clock with no hands.

Luckily the main pier structure retains a fully-functioning clock.

According to the excellent book "Pierdom" by Simon Roberts, the pier was opened in 1870, although not completed until two years later. It is 305m  long.

The photograph in Pierdom shows a rather monochrome structure. However, since then the pier has been bought by Mr Gulzar, a local businessman. Much to the dismay of some residents, this resulted in the domes being painted gold and a new blue colour scheme for much of the other ironwork. Personally I think this is how a pier should look - a delicate balance between sophistication and that particular brand of seaside tackiness. and most importantly of all Mr Gulzar is investing money in maintaining the pier.

Looking back from the end of the pier, you can spot this next building.

With feet back on dry ground, we discover that this is the Leaf Hall Community Arts Centre on Seaside.

My assumption was that this was a church that had converted into a new use. How wrong could I be? The hall's website ( reveals that this building was opened on 9 June 1864 "to promote the social, moral and spiritual welfare of the working classes of Eastbourne" i.e was built as a community facility.

The clock tower was restored in 2000.

This next little beauty is All Souls church on Susans Road.

Described on Wikipedia as "a polychromatic Byzantine building with a prominent campanile", this Grade II* listed building was designed by Alfred Strong and completed in 1882.

Not so stylish is this more modern building in Langney Road.

Back to the churches. This is Holy Trinity, another Grade II* listed building.

Holy Trinity was completed in 1839, with later additions in 1855 - 1861.

More modern buildings. This is the tourist information office on Cornfield Road.

We are heading back towards the station now. And indeed back on Terminus Road. the pedestrian sections has this rather unusual clock.

A clock with invisible hands.

A quick trip into the Arndale Centre (1981) yields a rather modest clock.

Back out into Terminus Road for some fresh air and a more substantial clock.

This clock now resides above Buffet Time, but the original legend reads "Bruford's Jewellers".