The Town That Time Forgot?

A gloriously opportunistic article on Stalybridge’s estranged relationship with clocks

Full marks to the people of Stalybridge for striking out against the town’s malfunctioning clock. As the clip from BBC Northwest Tonight shows, Stalybridge is in the midst of two timezones. One which is either 1055 or 2255, or 0155 or 1355. Therefore it gives the impression that one part of Stalybridge has left their digibox on pause at the fag end of Homes Under The Hammer, or is ten minutes through Doctors and have put the kettle on.

It is also worth noting that our Cheshire town has had problems with other clocks before:

Stalybridge Bus Station: shortly after the closure of its crew relief facilities and information centre in 1985, the clock on top of the single storey building ceased working from around the late-1980s till the building’s demolition in the mid 1990s. Today, the 2000 vintage bus station as a fully working clock at the centre of its platform.

Stalybridge Railway Station: from 1990 to 1997, the railway station’s famous Joyce [Whitchurch] clock was missing. The original one was sent to the National Railway Museum in York, though there was a seven year wait for a working replica. Today, Stalybridge station has a number of working digital clocks accompanying its real time information display boards.

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As the clip stated, it would cost £6,000 to mend the Civic Hall clock, a figure which Tameside MBC cannot afford (though one which devotees of Leica cameras or expensive watches wouldn’t hesitate paying). So, who’s organising the whip-around? Perhaps we should knock on the doors of the posh houses between the Roe Cross and Bower Fold.

£6,000 is a small price to pay compared with the greater price bus-using Stalybridge citizens pay for missed buses thanks to dodgy timepieces. Mobile phones can be smashed, need charging every so often, but a non-working clock in a town centre close to its main commercial centre and bus stops is an Epic Fail!

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Timepiece Top Ten (Message in the Music Time!):

  1. Timin’, Jimmy Jones;
  2. Time (Clock Of My Heart), Culture Club;
  3. 2 Minutes to Midnight, Iron Maiden;
  4. Quarter to Three, Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds;
  5. Seconds Too Late, Cabaret Voltaire;
  6. Can’t Wait Another Minute, Five Star;
  7. Rock Around The Clock, Bill Haley and the Comets/Telex;
  8. Minute By Minute, The Doobie Brothers;
  9. Beat The Clock, Sparks;
  10. It’s Four in the Morning, Faron Young.

S.V., 11 June 2013.


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