Our repair and conversion of Terry’s Clock Tower has reached a significant milestone with the re-installation of the four restored clock dials and faces.
The distinctive dials were craned to the top of the 100ft tower and put back into place by experts from clockmakers Smith of Derby.
It is the first stage of our ambitious project to restore the clock back to working order and give the tower new use by converting the space into 22 unique properties.
Director James Woodmansee said: “Terry’s clock tower is a fundamental part of York’s history and it will be a significant moment for the City to have it working again. This is the first phase and we anticipate the clock mechanism will be installed towards the end of next year as the conversion works complete.”
The clock tower is one of five Grade II listed buildings that make up the purpose-built Terry’s factory estate next to the City’s racecourse. They include the main factory building, closed in 2005 and converted by us into 170 apartments in 2015. It is now one of York’s premier addresses with a penthouse selling for over £1million.
Among the residents living there is Peter Mortimer, 85, who worked at The Terry’s site for 42 years. He moved into a ground floor garden apartment when he became a widower and loves being part of Terry’s again.
He is also excited to see the famous clock keeping time once more.
He said: “I was an electrician for Terry’s and one of my jobs was to look after the clock. It will be tremendous to have it back working again as we have all missed it. I hope it keeps time as accurately as the original one did!
“Seeing the dials hoisted into place was quite an occasion.”
As well as restoring the dials, the hands and the glass faces Smit of Derby are also making a new clock mechanism to the same specification as the original, which went missing between the factory closing and conversion work starting.
The firm’s technical sales consultant Peter Sully said: “It has taken 18 months of detective work across the country but we managed to track down identical parts and are now in a position to make the mechanism. It has been a very demanding process but it will be very satisfying to see the clock working again.”
The clock dials bear the words TERRY YORK in place of numerals and as it can be seen far and wide across York was often referred to as ‘the kitchen clock’ by many locals.
Work to convert the space into new homes is expected to take 12 months and there is already huge interest from buyers for the apartments which will be released for sale off plan from next May.
The final part of the project will be the creation of a separate floor to the clock level space to allow managed public access on a set number of days each year. Three boards, telling the story of Terry’s; the original clock manufacturers Gents and the PJ Livesey Project will be displayed there.