By Peter Benson
IT is now some months since a suggestion was put forward on this site regarding the saving of the turret clock that once graced the Carnegie Public Library in Orsett Road, Grays. Following that initial suggestion a lot of interest was generated which resulted in the Facebook group “The Friends of Grays Carnegie Library Clock” being formed.
This group can be found via https://www.facebook.com/groups/1577873079202126/
A great deal of conversation has also taken place with a number of Thurrock Borough Council officials as regards to the future of the clock and much progress has been made towards its rescue. The latest position is that a safe, weatherproof area has been allocated and that transport, lifting gear and trained personnel are being arranged with a view to moving the clock to a place of safety, hopefully this will happen within the next few weeks. Once the clock has been moved the process of preservation can begin, for which a number of local tradesmen have offered their services. It is further hoped that the culmination of this undertaking will see the “old library clock” restored to full working condition and being once again put on show in a public place for all to see.
All the reaction and feedback from Thurrock Borough Council has been very positive and it is hoped for it to continue in similar vein. As and when further news and developments on this project emerge it is hoped to publish via “The Friends of Grays Carnegie Library Clock” and through the columns of Your Thurrock.
It’s worth mentioning that all of the major components of the clock have been located, which include the movement, lead capping, slave gearing and the finial, which is great news given that the turret clock was removed nearly 46 years ago in 1970. The movement is in great condition and still is well lubricated, possibly last done by a young lad, who worked in the old Library in the 1960s, among his jobs would be to climb up a high stepladder to the ceiling in the library and winding up the clock up and oil it.
The woodwork of turret case is also in a good solid condition, despite being open to the elements for a number of years. Unfortunately only one of the three glass clock faces has survived, but they should be reasonably easy to replace. So all-in all it’s looking very good for the clock.
We would like to say many thanks to all who have offered help and shown interest, it is very encouraging and very much appreciated.
The Friends of Grays Carnegie Library Clock.”