SOS - Save our Clock Shelter Campaign

SOS - Save our Clock Shelter Campaign

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A Good Job Well Done!

The restored Cleveleys Clock Shelter

On 20 November the clock shelter was officially opened and declared completed at a small event prior to the Light Up a Life Christmas Switch On Event – watch this short video below…

The shelter has been repainted, re-roofed and cleaned up, and thanks to your generous donations and support the four clocks in the top are now in full working order for the future. 

No one seems to know when this edifice was built, other than it’s going on for 100 years old. No one seems to know when three of the clocks went missing, or when the final one stopped. But now, a much loved Cleveleys landmark has been restored and maintained for the future, and it’s all thanks to the strength of our local community. Well done and thank you to everyone!

Jane and Paul Maynard MP
Me (Jane) and Paul Maynard MP who cut the ribbon and declared the project complete.

The opening of the clock
Andrew Morton’s photo, taken just before the opening of the Clock Shelter

The £500 Cherry on Top…

The Manager at the Skipton Building Society tipped us off that they run a community giving campaign called Grassroots Giving, which provides £500 grants for local causes which are non-registered charities – just like the clock project. 

We were shortlisted from hundreds of applications, they said that we “beat off hundreds of other applicants and were able to clearly demonstrate the positive impact you make in your local community.”

There were 161 pots of £500, and 304 shortlisted groups. We were delighted to discover that thanks to your votes, the Clock Shelter was one of the successful projects – so that completes the fundraising target.

Look, Clocks!

Just one photo in this update. Clocks completed on 14 November. Don’t need to add much else!

Clocks installed in the Shelter at Cleveleys

Exciting News! (10.11.14)

This week, commencing 10.11.14, scaffolding will be going up at the Shelter, to allow the top part to be painted and spruced up, in anticipation of Smiths of Derby coming to Cleveleys on 12, 13, 14 November to fit the new clocks!

The plan is to mark the achievement of everyone who has been involved in this community campaign, with an ‘opening event’ at Light Up a Life on Thursday 20 November.

There are a few clock shelter prints still available – we’d like to sell as many as we can to bolster funds to pay for bits and bobs to complete the project. Any surplus funds will be put to good use in the community. You can get your print from forsyths or direct by PayPal. Details at the left.

Estates Officer at Wyre Council

I’d like to say a BIG thank you to Keely Jones, the Estates Officer at Wyre Council (in the centre of this photo), for her help in getting this work done in time to mark the completion of the project at our Christmas event. 

Along with the people and businesses who have donated money, I’d also like to thank my dad, Derek (below) for painting the clock shelter – here he is with the original painting which we’ll treasure for posterity!

Original clock shelter painting

Three other people who certainly deserve a mention are:

– David Bannister from the Fylde Coast Wish Group on Facebook, who was a huge help with the fundraising.

– Margaret Hulme from Montpelier Accountants who was a star for banking the cheques and keeping hold of the cash raised.

– David Hewitt who produced this video as a momento for all of us of the opening event. A lovely clip to look back on in the future.

If I’ve missed anyone off this list, huge apologies – just let me know!

An Exciting Day for the Clock Campaign! (8.10.14)

Wednesday 8 October 2014 saw work starting to the actual clocks in the clock shelter, when the one remaining clock dial and all of the glass faces and bezels were removed from the shelter to be taken back to Smiths of Derby to be renovated and copied. 

Removing the clock faces from the shelter for restoration

Fortunately, the rainy weather that was promised managed to just about hold off until the work was completed and the pieces were safely in the van.

Removing the clock faces from the shelter for restoration

In about four weeks the four new clock dials, glass faces and bezels will be returned and replaced in the shelter which will complete the restoration and see the community project to rejuvenate the shelter and its clocks complete.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Lancashire County Council engineering department for the loan of the cherry picker to provide access while the clocks were removed. 

Well done everyone! (But please still VOTE!!)

An Afternoon of Clock Business!

I’ve been in Cleveleys today on official clock business – and it’s been a really good afternoon too!

First I started off by dropping clock prints off and saying thank you to the shop owners who have generously donated towards the fund last week. 

Big Deal Clothing

I’ve been to Big Deal Clothing (above), Pets and Puzzles, the Carousel Cafe, Mickeys Bedding, Kays Fish and Chips and Steves Chippy, Masons Amusements, Cleveleys Kitchens and the Bookmark shop – they’re all listed in the donation roll call at the left.

I treated myself to an ice cream from the cabin on the road (which was very nice) and went to talk to the man in a van on the promenade from Lancashire County Council who was been working this week mending the street lights along the front, and asked if he would/could be here with his cherry picker next week. He said he could if it was OK with his boss (are you following all this??)

Then I met with the Chief Executive and Leader of Wyre Council and some of the local Councillors who were out and about looking at the projects which the Shaping your Neighbourhood Funding has been allocated to – and of course our clock has received a £5000 grant. They were really pleased that everyone has been involved with and enjoyed taking part in this community project to restore and retain the last little bit of old Cleveleys. 

Back at the ranch, the very nice man with the cherry picker had said he would be able to come along and help out if it was OK with his boss, so I made a phone call to David Grassie (another very nice man) and we have lift off!

Thanks to them providing access and the use of their cherry picker, something very exciting can be carried out next week….


Smiths of Derby, the clock company, are coming to site next Wednesday (8 Oct) to remove the one remaining clock face and start working on it!

They will take it away to restore it and then four weeks later bring it and three copies back to be reinstated – Wyre Council are going to repair/repaint the shelter top/finial thing, and then once again the clocks will stand over Cleveleys to tell the time!

Well done to everyone who has been involved – but DON’T FORGET YOU STILL NEED TO VOTE FOR THE SKIPTON MONEY!!

Make a Wish… 23.9.14

“I wish we could get to the fundraising target and get the clocks ticking”... be careful what you wish for because it might just come true!

A week or so ago I made the acquaintance of the very kind hearted man who runs The Fylde Coast Wish Group on Facebook.

He offered to help and yesterday lent a very welcome hand when he went out collecting in Cleveleys for the clock restoration campaign. The generous donations which he collected will be listed one by one in the tally at the left as is customary.

This makes it even more important that you vote for the Skipton £500 because we’re very, very close now!

I’d also encourage you to join the Wish Group, I think you’d like it

A Good Clock Week – update 20.9.14

Well it’s been a good week on the clock fundraising campaign trail!

It started with an email from Forsyths to say could I call in and replenish their stock of Clock Prints because they’d sold all the ones I left with them!

Clock Prints on sale at Forsyths in Cleveleys

So off I trundled to collect £200 from the sale of the first 20, and leave another batch – so if you haven’t got yours be quick because they are selling fast!

I had to go to In Frame picture framers on St George’s Avenue and the lovely lady there bought one, then I called at Fredericks where one exchanged hands for double it’s going rate and another £20 for the kitty!

With £230 in an envelope I called at Montpelier Accountants to hand the cash over to be banked through the Chamber of Trade bank account, to discover Mrs Sadie Robinson had been in and left a cheque for £100! 

So all in all that finished Friday off exceptionally well, but don’t forget to vote for the Skipton money too if you haven’t done already!

Helping Hand from the Past

The Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group have donated a very generous £275 to the fund that’s aiming to see four working clock faces ticking again in the shelter on Cleveleys sea front. (

Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group members donate to the clock fund

The Group, with almost 3000 members, enjoys finding and sharing photos and memories of the area in the past, and held their second get together event on Saturday, nominating the Clock fund as their chosen charity for the night. They join a number of other businesses and groups who have donated their time and money to see this iconic building restored to its former glory.

The campaign to get the shelter restored was launched by Visit Cleveleys this summer and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support it’s received from you, the public, and the way that it’s brought the community together. It’s one of the last remaining pieces of original Cleveleys and it was clear right from the first photo showing the state it was in after the storms last winter, that people wanted to see it restored and preserved for the future. Many of the roof tiles had blown off, the paintwork was sandblasted and tatty, and along with the clocks which have been missing and not working for many years it looked generally unloved and captured everyone’s attention.

Several weeks into the campaign, Wyre Council have now reroofed and painted it which made a massive transformation, and now the community is raising funds to get four working clocks ticking in the top again.

It will cost £8000 to reinstate the clocks as they would have looked in the early 1900’s when it was built. £5000 has been awarded from the Shaping your Neighbourhood Grant, with £3000 for us and the public to raise.

The campaign is going well, this latest donation brings the running total to almost £1500 with money having been received from some local businesses and many local individuals who wanted to help, including a huge bag of 20p pieces from Pete the busker! Manor Beach Primary School have also pledged to take a big role in the fundraising when school starts in September.

Steve Simey, Cleveleys Taxi Driver, Andy Ball and Carol Barnes were three of the organisers of the get together. Steve adds “The shelter is part of the original seaside town that we love today and it was great to be able to have a fun evening looking back on the past, while at the same time contributing towards something that is very much of today. It’s great to be part of that community spirit.”


We’re only £1500 away from completing this project, so we urgently need your help to get to the total quickly and get the clocks reinstated before winter and the bad weather sets in. Details of how you can help are at the left.

Latest Update (3.8.14)

It’s been a busy week for the campaign to reinstate clocks in the shelter at Vic Rd West.

At Wyre Council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night the bid for £5000 from the Shaping your Neighbourhood community fund towards the £8000 cost of the clocks was considered and approved, so that is excellent news.

Clock prints are now on sale in Forsyth’s so you can call into the shop and get your copy for £10.

On Friday morning we were collecting in Tesco between 10am and noon. My friend and Rossall Beach Buddy Val came with me, and we had a good morning talking to people about what we were doing.

Collecting in Tesco

You can see on the left what happened – Graham came and bought a print, and Pete swapped a huge bag of 20p pieces from busking for a clock print. I’d say that was a good deal for the clock! 

Could you hold a small fundraising event of your own, aiming for £50 or £100 towards the cause? A sponsored silence, cake bake, car washing, dog walking – as they say many hands make light work – or in this case the clocks tick!

Remember – just a few weeks ago the clock shelter looked like it does in this photo – the remaining piece of work is the cherry on top and the community can say that we made that happen!

All this hard work and generosity brings the fundraising total to £1129.50

The Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook group held their reunion last night, with proceeds towards the Clock campaign. I hope they had a great night, and whatever they raised is very welcome indeed.

Clock Funding to be Considered (23.7.14)

Wyre’s Cabinet is due to consider community projects worth £60,000 for towns and villages across the borough.

The council’s Shaping Your Neighbourhood scheme was launched in 2012 to allow communities to be directly involved in improving their neighbourhoods. Over £400,000 has already been allocated towards an assortment of projects that benefit people throughout Wyre.

A further £60,000 has been made available to extend the initiative; £10,000 for each of six neighbourhood areas that make up the borough.

The clocks in our shelter at Cleveleys are just one of the projects set to be determined. A bid has been submitted for £5000 of the £8000 total cost – if successful this bid will cover the bulk of the cost, leaving the balance of funds to be raised by the community – which is why your help is so vital in completing this restoration.

Other projects include building improvements to re-open Vicarage Park Community Centre (formerly St Chad’s Church Hall) in Poulton; a First World War commemorative sculpture in Garstang; a BMX track at Preesall Park; repairs to Cleveleys clock tower; new equipment for Thornton Gala; and a community TV channel in Fleetwood.

Shaping Your Neighbourhood is led by six Neighbourhood Lead Members who work across the areas to identify local issues and priorities that matter most to their communities.

Lead Members have determined which projects are recommended for funding
based on community consultation, sustainability and benefits they will bring.

Wyre’s Cabinet will discuss the plans at a meeting on 30 July.

It’s all Happening!

Raising Funds to Put the Clock on the Top (20.7.14)

Cleveleys Clock shelter painted and re-roofed

I got quite a shock a week ago when I discovered that the shelter was being painted – a nice shock nonetheless and all thanks to my new surveyor friend Keely in the estates department at Wyre, who somehow had persuaded the powers that be to complete the renovation. Keely – we salute you!

Our clock shelter is now looking loved and wanted again, and sets off the high street beautifully. Except for two things. The most obvious one I’ll come on to in a minute (the clock) but PLEASE will people take their rubbish over the road to the HUGE bin! Every time I drive past there’s litter on the floor – mainly from food and drinks. It’s wonderful to see people using it and sitting there to wait for buses, rest their legs, shelter from the rain, or even the baking heat we’ve recently enjoyed, but it isn’t a big bin! When I went to take this picture I took a plastic bag with me and picked it all up, including the half full 2 litre pop bottle, and put it all in the bin straight over the road.

So to the clock. If you’ve been following this story, you’ll know that the collective people of Cleveleys decided that they wanted the shelter looking after, and thanks to Wyre Council the serious damage from the storms of last winter has been repaired, which has left the clock housing looking, well, a shabby mess.

You also wanted to reinstate four working clocks to the top, no one seems to know when three of them disappeared and the remaining one ceased up. We’ve established that it’s going to cost £8000 in total – a bid has been submitted to the Shaping your Neighbourhood Fund held by Wyre for £5000 and we are raising the rest.

Donations to date are around the seven hundred odd mark, so that leaves at least £2000 to raise. The Rossall Beach Group have planned to hold a collection day in Morrisons at Cleveleys at the end of August, and we’ve still got plenty of clock prints for you to buy.

If any shops would like a collecting tin I’m more than happy to buy and provide them, all you have to do is get in touch. At the end of the day, this improvement makes Cleveleys a nicer place for people to come to, which means your business will benefit, so a tenner to the cause wouldn’t kill you, would it Mr Shopkeeper?

So what are you waiting for? We wanted four working clocks, how you can help to get four working clocks is at the left!

Re-roofing is well underway (2.7.14)

The roofing contractor who Wyre Council have employed are well into the works to transform the dilapidated roof with it’s new shingles.

Last week work started to strip the old wooden shingles and batons off – which were so rotten they just came away without the need for a hammer or crowbar. The roof was left felted and battoned for the weekend, and now the new shingles are being fitted. They should be completed by about the end of this week.

New shingles going on the clock shelter roof

Obviously this hasn’t been a cheap piece of restoration and re-roofing is all that the budget will stretch to, so discussions are ongoing regarding the repainting and rest of the structure, which is fortunately structurally sound.

The Clock

Tony from Smiths of Derby came to pay a call yesterday – they are the people who 60 years ago took over the William Potts company which provided the original clock almost 100 years ago.

We’ve already had a budget price in advance of a proper estimate, and now that it’s been inspected we’ve received a detailed fixed quote of just under £8000.

The existing clock and faces will be taken away – the remaining face will be restored and three new copies made. The housing turret will be cleaned up and then the clock replaced with a new, robust mechanism which will tell us the time for years to come.

Smiths are generously carrying out the work at basic cost as a gesture of goodwill because it’s a community led project. They’ve also offered to replace the cracked finial ball with a new GRP one free of charge – with a pointy end to stop our feathered friends perching there and plopping down the top!


As reported previously, a bid has been submitted for £5,000 to the Wyre Council Shaping your Neighbourhood fund – we’ll know if this has been successful on 31 July.

Now that we’ve received the quote we know the final cost to be £8,000 which leaves £3,000 for the community to raise.

1. Donate – with cash, cheques or by PayPal – details at the left.

2. Collect – we can provide a collecting tin for your business – please ask.

3. Fundraise – hold your own small fundraiser with the aim of reaching a small total – £25, £50, £100 – it all adds up.

Did you Know?

Apparently, several years ago when the hatch wasn’t locked shut, someone was actually living in the loft of the clock shelter.

Someone spotted the guy one day and when they looked in the loft he’d got it kitted out as a home from home. A bit more folk lore to add to the story!

Exciting News! Re-roofing is due to start! (9.6.14)

We’ve got some exciting news for everyone who has been right behind the campaign to restore the clock shelter in Cleveleys – work is due to begin on the re-roofing, hopefully this week!

Cleveleys clock shelter at the car show
The clock shelter was modelling a bevvy of beauties at the car show this weekend!

A building surveyor new to Wyre Council has been given the job of sorting it out as her first project. She’s a community minded individual who helps out in a similar way where she lives, and getting stuck right in she’s been really helpful in coordinating the offers of help and making sure that the project is sorted out in a logical way.

We met last week and heard that all the old shingles are coming off the roof, which will be refelted and new batons fastened before being re-roofed in new timber shingles. So not only will it look fine and dandy, it will also be structurally sound for at least the next 25 years.

There’s a bit of damage to some of the fascias at the roof line, which will also be sorted out when the roof is done – it will all be carried out from a mobile platform and take a couple of weeks to complete.

Next up we are waiting for an inspection by the clock company and a firm quote on the actual clock part – but it doesn’t stop us from raising money int he meanwhile!

Have you made your donation yet?

Bid Complete for the First £5,000 (1.6.14)

A £5000 bid has been submitted to Wyre Council for the restoration of the clocks in the shelter, from the Shaping Your Neighbourhood project.

It’s a new approach to involving people and communities in identifying issues, priorities and solutions within their neighbourhoods. Elected members of the council are providing the link between communities and the council, led by six neighbourhood lead members who are coordinating overall activity in their areas.

If unsuccessful, we’ll hear by the middle to end of June. Applications for consideration go to the Council Cabinet meeting on 30 July, with successful awards being informed on 31 July.

Fingers crossed!

And We’re Off! (25.5.14)

Right folks, hold your nose and take a deep breath, we’ve got a price back for the restoration of the clock on top of the clock shelter, so the fundraising can begin!

Cleveleys Clock Shelter

This is only a budget price at this stage – provided from photographs until the clock company can come to site and do a proper inspection – so a proper firm quotation will be available then.

Restoration of the four clocks will cost anything up to £10,000 – so that dream I had a few weeks ago wasn’t far off at the lower end of the prices I imagined!

Wyre Council run a local funding project called Shaping your Neighbourhood, which gives local groups the opportunity to bid for a £10,000 pot of money for their area. Cllr Andrea Kay is the coordinator for Thornton Cleveleys and has told us to apply for £5,000 from that funding pot, so the total required isn’t as bad as it sounds – assuming of course that the money is granted.

Update 20.5.14

Not a lot to report today, as we’re continuing to pursue a price for the restoration of the clock itself.

Getting Organised

In anticipation, we’re sorting out the mechanics of how a fundraising campaign would be managed. Cleveleys Chamber of Trade have very generously offered to collect and bank donations through their bank account. Montpelier Accountants, who look after their books, will be responsible for tallying up the donations and doing the banking.

The Venue have kindly agreed to be Post Office Central for any donations sent through the post, and you’ll be able to drop cash donations off there too. We’re hoping they’ll need a big holding box to cope with the influx!!

Windows or What?

We’ve had the question of glazing the windows out to public consultation on Facebook, and people overwhelmingly agree that it would be wonderful to take up the kind offer from Northern Express Glass of glazing the structure once again.

Clock shelter article in Gazette
Clock shelter article in Gazette, Thursday 15 May 

Fame and Notoriety

Meanwhile, last week, the Gazette were in touch and ran a piece about the campaign (pictured). We also did an interview for BBC Radio Lancashire who contrasted the 120th birthday of Blackpool Tower with our own little tower.

Steve, the lovely reporter for BBC Radio Lancashire, also informed me that the interview had been put forward into a programme which runs nationally, so our little shelter and community campaign had a bit of national recognition at the weekend!

And We’re Off!! Round Up – 8.5.14

Good news! We’ve just been talking to Wyre Council and they are coming to repair the roof shortly! Well they said in the next couple of weeks so it should be quite soon.

BIG thanks though to Jake Eley the roofer who very generously offered to do the work for free in the first place.

We’ll be chasing up the clock company next and trying to find out how much it’s going to cost to sort out the clock, and then launching a fundraising campaign for a truely community spirited venture, dedicated to the lovely people of Cleveleys!

Clock conundrum

But first, does anyone know if there were four working clocks at the top of the tower? There are faces clearly visible in the old photos, but the engineer at the council thinks they might have been painted in, and there isn’t any evidence of the other mechanism. Can anyone answer that particular conundrum?

Windows or what?

Next question. Do you think the windows should be glazed or not?

Cleveleys clock shelter

We went for a close-up look, and you can’t tell on this pic but the inside of the clock shelter is like the fire back (as we would have said in Yorkshire) from the wind, sand and dirt that’s blown in. Glass would solve that problem and make it look more attractive – and it does look to have been glazed in the past.

What does everyone think before we have another chat with the very generous Northern Express Glass who offered to glaze it as a community contribution?

If you’ve got any answers to either of these questions, just bob them on Facebook!

Round Up – 29.4.14

Well we might have had a few days off last week, but the clock shelter wasn’t far from our minds. Here’s where we are up to:

Jake Eley the roofer has been to have a look and says that the rest of the roof is OK and the missing tiles can be replaced. He’s given an estimate of how many wooden shingles will be needed – apparently you paint them a mucky colour so that they blend in when replaced.

Builders Supplies had already pledged their help, and we’ve asked them about providing the missing materials and shingles for the roof.

West Lancashire Electrical Contractors are going to have a look at whether it’s feasible to put a light in the top to deter those who might like to congregate there and get up to mischief. There must be power to the island as there’s an illuminated bollard next to it. Although I wonder if the power to the clock was cut off when the new roundabout was built? We shall see.

Parkinson’s building contractors are going to come and have a look at the shelter with a view to helping with the decorating.

Northern Express Glass have been in touch to say that they would like to help out – with Toughened Self Cleaning glass if that’s what people would like from them. They say “We can supply and find a glazier to do some work as a community project..”

I’ve tracked down the clock repair company and just emailed them for comments. Let’s see what the clock bit might cost (eek!) Then we can start a fundraising campaign when we know what’s what.

I’m expecting the clock to be an expensive exercise, which will be where the fundraising comes in, so watch this space. Several people have already offered pledges and to help, but it makes sense to know what it will cost first – or even if it’s possible. I even received a £250 pledge this morning from a business in Cleveleys.

Once again we’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has offered to help, provided photos and shown an interest and to say once again that it’s heart warming to see everyone rallying round and working together to help our little edifice!

Update 17.4.14

So where are we at. Well first of all overwhelmed by the support and interest our little clock shelter has created, it seems we’re all of a mind to look after it for the future.

It’s been a bit of planning by public conversation, so we’ve now got a lead or two to follow up which might tell us what needs doing with the clocks and how much it will cost, which will tell us how much we need to raise.

A very generous roofer called Jake Eley made contact via Andy who admins Thornton Cleveleys Past, to say that he would donate free labour to repair the roof.

We’ve also been in discussion with people who are going to look at the rest of the repairs. Others have offered to do some public fundraising, while a number of people have asked about making a donation.

Easter is now in the way, and even I’m having some well deserved time off, but you can still get in touch, and Facebook will still be open x

At the end of Victoria Road West, in the roundabout on the promenade, stands the iconic Cleveleys clock shelter.

It’s in a sorry state after the storms of December 2013 and early 2014. A large number of the wooden shingles have blown off the roof, the paintwork has been eroded by the harsh winds which sandblast it all year round, and the clock which tops it off hasn’t been working for a very long time.

Conversation on Facebook showed that the people of Cleveleys have a strong affection for this little structure and are strongly in favour of it being restored and maintained in it’s current form for generations to come. It’s well used by people sitting awhile, maybe with an ice cream or fish and chips, and it’s obviously a spot that’s well enjoyed.

It’s pretty much the last remaining part of the Victorian seaside origins of Cleveleys that anyone can remember – the beach huts were removed when the sea front was redeveloped, the Orion Cinema/bingo hall was demolished to make way for the Aldi supermarket, and more besides. The shelter is a relatively small structure, in a spot where it’s doing no harm, and not a huge and costly, near derelict building with no practical alternatives. It’s also been suggested that it should become a listed building so that it is safe for the future.

Comments also indicated that people would be prepared to contribute towards the repair of the shelter – with some suggestions of collecting buckets and fundraising campaigns, and others that people would be prepared to pitch in to contribute to the physical work.

We’ve been in contact with Wyre Council who welcomed offers of help and suggestions to preserve the shelter. Unlike many other areas, Cleveleys doesn’t have a single community voice, but the main groups in town are all in agreement that they’d like to work together to get this asset restored. It’s brought the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook group, Assocation of Commerce and Trade, Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group and Cleveleys Community Centre together, along with help from Builders Supplies, to work as a team.

What Next?

1. Go to the Visit Cleveleys Facebook page and leave your comments, suggestions and pledges. Moral support is important too – we want to know that the majority of people agree to the same thing and want this structure saving.

2. Email with your comments, offers and photos.

3. Ring 07932 143431 if you want to discuss something.

Can anyone provide information about the clocks?

Can they be repaired? Where can we get new ones from? How much will it cost?

Establishing a cost for the clocks seems to be a logical place to start, so we’re looking for a ‘clock-ologist’. If you know one, send them our way!

At this stage we’re sticking a finger in the air to see what comes forth. If there’s an appetite for people to donate time, materials and money towards the renovation then that’s what we will collectively try to arrange.

I’m not a building surveyor, but at a glance I’d say that the services of a painter and decorator are required and maybe a carpenter, along with a roofer, new shingles for the roof, and potentially a considerable piece of work on the clock – or maybe even the requirement for a new one.

It was suggested that a fundraising campaign could homour people who donate money by putting their names under the shingles – so that could be investigated. If tradesmen are generous enough to donate time and materials it would be nice to unveil a commemorative plaque at the end of the project to thank everyone for their help. Of course there will be publicity for anyone who does contribute.

If works are carried out on the shelter, as you would expect, anyone involved will have to comply with Wyre Council’s requirements in terms of insurance, public safety, risk assessments etc.

The History of the Clock Shelter

What is the history of the clock shelter? Where did it come from? When was it put in the roundabout?

Have you got any old photos of that spot as it once was, and photos of the shelter from it’s own origins?

Have you got memories of the shelter when you were little? From day trips or maybe from climbing into the rafters as someone said this week.

We want to hear it all, so that we don’t just preserve the shelter as it stands for tomorrow, but also collect and preserve it’s past too.

We’ll add the photos you’ve sent in in date order, oldest first. Which do you remember?

Early 20th century Cleveleys clock shelter
Early 20th century Cleveleys clock shelter, thanks to Juliette Gregson who manages the Blackpool’s Past Facebook Group

1930's view of Cleveleys Clock Shelter
1930’s view of Cleveleys Clock Shelter, sent in by Samantha King, which also shows the theatre area where summer shows took place in Cleveleys.

1942 view of Cleveleys Clock Tower
1942 view of Cleveleys Clock Tower from Dave Hutchinson, originally posted to the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group

Pre Olympia Cleveleys Clock Shelter
Pre Olympia Cleveleys Clock Shelter with thanks to Andy Ball from the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group

Clock shelter in the 1950's
Clock shelter in the 1950’s – this is another one kindly supplied by Dave Hutchinson, again from the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group

What’s in a name

There doesn’t seem to be a standard name for the shelter, but Pete John Smith told us that apart from it being known as the birdcage in his youth it was also called the four faced liar.

Cleveleys Clock shelter in 1975

Pete Skinner sent this photo from a rainy weekend in 1975 – note that the clocks look to be complete and there is glass in the windows.

Arty view of the clock tower

Pete Skinner also sent in this ‘arty view’ as he called it, of the clock shelter

Clocks Missing in the 1980’s

Tony Bowker has been in touch with this anecdote. “I have lived in NZ for over 50 years, but remember the clock tower from my earlier days. My grandfather, Havelock Bowker, lived in York Avenue and had the job of keeping the clocks serviceable.

“In the late 1940,s I used to feel very important walking up Victoria Road carrying the ladder that my Grandfather used to get up into the clock tower loft. He used to go regularly to wind the clocks and make sure that they were OK.

“He died in 1964 so certainly he wouldn’t have had any idea where the clocks disappeared to.

“I have forwarded the E-Mail to my cousin in South Wales, as her family moved into the York Avenue house after Grandad died. At least I know the clocks were there in 1948. I don’t have any photos but I have a postcard from the 1980’s and the clocks were missing then.”

More to the Clock than Meets the Eye… 25.4.14

Well, well, well.
It seems that our one shabby clock in the centre of the roundabout on Vic Rd West might be a little treasure after all.

The clock in the shelter at Cleveleys
The William Potts & Sons clock in the Cleveleys clock shelter

Apparently started by William Potts who was born in 1809, the company which made our clock grew and expanded and was awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1897.

It was renamed William Potts & Son when three of Williams sons joined the business, but after the First World War two sons left to start their own businesses.
William Potts and Sons joined the Smith of Derby Group in 1935 but kept the name.

More than 1600 clocks are believed to still be in existence, and there are various notable examples including Edge Hill railway station in Liverpool.

The restored Cleveleys Clock Shelter

Clock shelter before renovationAnd remember that this is what it looked like before the campaign started… 

Plaque in the clock shelterThe plaque to mark the completion

Completed clock shelterAnd all lit up with fairy lights too for Christmas!

Limited edition prints from an original watercolour of Cleveleys Clock Shelter

Donations Received:

Our project was successful with the £500 from the Skipton – which takes the total far enough over £3000 to pay for the fairy lights and a few odds and ends. Perfect accounting!

John Byrne from JT Byrne Funeral Directors, has very kindly paid for a slate plaque (above) to mark the completion of the project and the restoration of the clocks and the shelter, thanking all the wonderful people in our community for what they’ve achieved this year. 

Masons Amusements have also handed a cheque to our helper from the Fylde Coast Wish Group, this time for a very welcome £200. Drum roll and fanfare, this makes the total for now £2548 – which means that if we get enough votes for the £500 from the Skipton, WE’RE THERE!!!

Cleveleys Kitchens have donated a generous cheque for £100 to the Clock Fund, collected yesterday by our helper from the Fylde Coast Wish Group. That takes our tally to £2348.00…

Another lovely cheque for £100 from Mickeys Bedding Shop on the corner (and might I add it looks very nice for it’s recent building work too).

That takes the running total, thanks to the help of the Fylde Coast Wish Group, to £2248.00

The very kind owner of the two Big Deal clothing shops (one on each side of the road) has given a very nice cheque to the fund for £100.
That brings the tally to £2148.00
Big Deal Clothing 

A couple of cash donations: £5 from Elegant Clothing and £10 from Steve’s Fish and Chips – that makes £2048.00

Barbie, Ann and Nick at the Bookmark shop not far from the clock shelter have also added a nice £20 note to the fund. Your balance for now is £2033.00

The Carousel Cafe have added a nice shiny £20 note to the coffers – which nudges the fund raising over two grand to £2013.00
Carousel Cafe

Andrea Ashworth at Pets and Puzzles has very kindly added £50 of hard earned money to the fund. C/f £1993.00
Pets and Puzzles 

Lorraine Shuttleworth, the owner of Kays Fish and Chips (and very nice they are too, we have them for our tea each Saturday) has donated a very generous £100. C/f £1943.00

Mrs Sadie Robinson has very generously donated £100 to the clock fund. Thank you ever so much! That takes the running total on 20.9.14 to £1843.00 

If we get the Skipton £500 (if we get enough votes!) that just leaves £657 to raise…

20 prints sold by Forsyths at Cleveleys adds another £200 to the fund… they’ve got another batch so get yours quickly!

Fredericks have bought a clock print and doubled their money to £20!

In Frame have bought a clock print for £10

We’ve had a very welcome donation from Mr and Mrs Dingle of £25. Thank you ever so much, that takes the running total to £1513.00

The Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group have been helping the clock fund. They held a get together event in August and raised a whopping £275. A big thanks to the organisers and to everyone who went along and supported the event. You’re wonderful!
Thornton Cleveleys Past donation to Clock fund

A £60 donation from a mysterious benefactor, who also sent £23.50 for two clock prints, swells the funds to £1213.00

The first batch of clock prints have gone out, bringing the running total to £1129.50

Pete Skinner – swapped a very heavy bag of 20p pieces from previous busking for a clock print. That was a very good deal for the clock because there was £80 in it. Thanks Pete and lovely to meet you too!
Pete Skinner donating to the clock campaign

Graham Crow – popped into Tesco to buy his clock print which adds another £10
Graham Crow and his clock print

A Collection in Tesco added £51 in change from lots of lovely people who contributed and had a quick chat, plus an annonymous £5 handed in at Fredericks
Collecting in Tesco

Maria Farrar – was kind enough to have another two clock prints which adds another £23.50 to the fund

Steve Bassett sent a kind donation of £20 all the way from Birmingham – but he’s short of space so he didn’t have a clock print! Thanks Steve x

Chrissie Blogger gave me £20 towards the fund. Thanks mum x
Chrissie and the clock shelter

sub total £920

Val Pounder – donated a very welcome £10

Manon Gatehouse – made a generous PayPal donation of £30

Northern Express Glass – generously donated £150 – thamks guys!
Northern Express Glass

Paul Wilcock – clock print for Montpelier Accountants £10

Claire Hawco – £10 clock print all the way to Canada!

Julia Brinsley – clock print £10

Cilla Farquhar – bought THREE clock prints £30

Jennifer Cain – clock print £10

Dave Aspinall – clock print £20

Margaret Knights – clock print £10

Rosa Barker – clock print £10

Margaret Knights made a kind donation of £10 by PayPal                                  

Maria Farrar generously donated £20 by PayPal

Darren Bamber made a welcome £10 PayPal donation

Erica McNaughton made a second very generous cash donation of £10 when she spotted us in the supermarket one day!

Lesley Brown sent another lovely cheque for £10

Mrs P Sale has kindly contributed £10

Builders Supplies (West Coast) Ltd have made a very generous donation of £100 towards the fund.
Builders Supplies (West Coast) Ltd

Brenda and Keith Swallow have donated £20

Mrs M Bottomley has kindly sent a cheque for £25

Erica McNaughton has donated £10 – she was the first person to offer a donation when we started talking about this campaign.

The lovely people at Vincents Café have made a £100 donation to the Clock fund.
Vincents Cafe

FTP Concepts, a company based right here in Cleveleys, sent a very generous donation of £250, just like they promised to when we first started this! Running total = £295
FTP Concepts


Jean Taylor gets a big pat on the back for dropping off her cheque for £20 – running total £45

Trish and Peter Rothwell were first off the mark with their donation of £25

Recognition for your Donation

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, our little clock shelter has really captured the imagination of the public and brought the community together in a really heartwarming way.

It’s been good to have everyone involved who wants to be through the online campaign and using Facebook to give everyone a voice. In the absence of a Town Council or general group for the whole of Cleveleys it’s been nice for everyone to be able to work together as one. We want to keep that momentum and feeling of community pride going.

We’ve started a new Event tab on the Visit Cleveleys Facebook page – find it here – to make a sort of guest book where donations will be listed individually as they come in, so that everyone gets recognition for the part which they play. It doesn’t matter how much you send, whether it’s £2 or £200 it all adds up and please don’t feel that you have to give a certain amount to keep up with the Jones’s. It’s not a competition to see who can donate what – it’s the thought that matters. If you want your donation to be anonymous please say so. If you have a comment to add to your donation please include it and we’ll post it with your entry.

Whatever happens, you can be assured that everything which we can control will be up for public agreement – this has been a transparent public process from the start and it will continue to be that to the end, when we’re stood under the clock shelter cutting a ribbon and declaring it finished!

Let’s say that we get absolutely flooded with cash and raise four times more than we need, then the floor will be opened up to another public discussion to decide what you want to do with the money.

If this happens, we’ll put the brakes on banking when we get to the required amount so that we can cancel/destroy cheques and hand cash donations back (which is why we want you to include your details). We’ll ask you what you want to do with any surplus donations – do you want to start another local public project and put it towards that, or pay the cash to another local charity (Trinity or the RNLI etc).


Northern Express Glass have offered to supply the glass and a glazier to fit new windows, free of charge as a community project.

West Lancashire Electrical have offered to fit a new light into the ceiling.

Jake C. Eley has very generously been in touch to offer free labour for the roof repairs.

Darren from Thornton wants to donate £10

Steve from Birmingham comes to Cleveleys and Blackpool frequently, and he’s kindly offered to make a donation to the cause.

Tracy Coxey suggested a Restoration fund – with collecting buckets in the shops with big signs on, and said “As a resident I would be willing to make contribution, for example: Adopt a tile and write my families name underneath it”

Kevin Howell said all the ‘Likers’ of Visit Cleveleys could donate £2. That would be a start. Probably enough to bring it to its former glory.

Erica McNaughton has offered £10 towards costs

Peter Caffekey has offered to donate money towards the cost

Andrew Henley says if someone comes up with plans and materials he can offer a few days labour to paint and re-tile the shelter

Debbie Ward will donate some hand-made cards to sell to raise funds

Richard Wynn said “Apply for it to be listed?”

Ruth Lowe said “Plz restore it??? There’s not much of the ‘original’ Cleveleys left!!!”

Shelter with a winter sunset

Maria Potter sent this photo in (above) and said “So sad to here about the clock shelter. I took a beautiful photograph Christmas week 2013, when I ran through the town taking shot after shot in the glorious pink ridden sky. The clock shelter was the most magnificent sight, it looked like a dancing lady. Hope the picture can inspire some people to save the shelter and return it to its former glory, the shelter may be small but it is a beautiful architecture.

I wrote a poem, the scene was just to good to waste. I included the poem just in case but in this case I think the picture mat tell the story better.

Skyward Saltatory

What lines the sky with such reward?
That gifts the eyes with pleasant sight,
That dance and weave with shear delight
And Tango with the sleepy sun.

The moon will send them all to bed
Put to rest the weary heads.
For now the sky will dance with sun
And skip and jump and skate and run.

Make the most of fading light
Like lovers in romantic flight.
Surge with power and electricity
In an elegant Waltz of complicity.


Clock shelter in Cleveleys
Clock shelter in Cleveleys – about 3/4 years ago

Cleveleys Clock Shelter
Cleveleys Clock Shelter – April 2014

One remaining clock in Cleveleys Clock Shelter
One remaining clock in Cleveleys Clock Shelter – in the side which faces along Victoria Road West

Cleveleys Clock Shelter

Cleveleys Clock Shelter

Inside Cleveleys Clock Shelter
Inside the Clock Shelter

Cleveleys Chamber of Trade Chain of Office
Cleveleys Chamber of Trade Chain of Office from c. 1936, showing the clock shelter

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