Historic clock can show its face again

The HSBC building and clock tower n St Annes Square.
The HSBC building and clock tower n St Annes Square.
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THE bank clock has been a St Annes Square landmark for more than a century.

Time caught up with the clock last year and – as revealed in the Express on February 16 – work costing £250,000, to clean and restore the stonework around the timepiece has just been completed.

Scaffolding has finally come down after the HSBC found that steel girders holding up the clock were rotten, and needed replacing.

The clock was originally above the London, City and Midland Bank in 1907, part of the Century Buildings on the northern side of St Annes Road West. Its nearest neighbours were Boots Cash Chemist (1906), Francis Turner, Ladies Outfitter and J H Taylor Chemist.

When first created, The Square was said to have a certain unity, despite being a patchwork quilt of late Victorian architecture. All the buildings were three-storey and set 165 feet apart.

It was thought to be the widest shopping street in the country – but that summer boast was certainly stifled in the winter by howling gales and blowing sands – which was to lead eventually to today’s “narrowing” of the Square by the introduction of parking areas, landscaped and domed shelters.