millennium clock in cocoa yard, nantwich (pic by Espresso Addict, under creative commons)

Town councillors are bidding to install a new “Automaton Clock” in Nantwich Civic Hall.

The project would involve engineering students from the Crewe and Nantwich area.

The idea emerged as town councillors and engineers discussed if it was possible to repair the broken Millennium Clock in the Cocoa Yard in Nantwich.

The town council set aside £7,000 in its 2024-25 budget to repair or replace the Millennium Clock.

In a report to councillors, it stated: “During the budget setting process for 2024/25 the Town Council approved an increased budget of £7,000, acknowledging that the (Millennium) Clock had never been entirely successful and had not been operational for a couple of years.

“Councillor Riddell obtained the support of the Town Council to investigate options for the installation of an automaton clock.”

Councillors had hoped to repair the Millennium Clock which has not worked due to condensation as the glass case it sits inside is not fully weatherproof.

But the report added: “A retired engineer looked carefully at the Clock and Glass Case which houses it.

“He expressed doubts as to the feasibility of making the case weatherproof and condensation proof.

“This concern was discussed with the facilities manager at the council and maintenance officer, both tended to agree with the engineer.”

It was therefore agreed to supplement the original ‘skeleton’ clock with a new timepiece which would operate independently on electricity or batteries.

Now they exploring an additional scheme of installing a new Automaton Clock – one that at certain times, figures or objects move.

It is proposed to display this new clock inside a window in the Civic Hall facing out towards the Bus Station.

“It is dry, secure and the case would not need to be anything like as sturdy (or expensive) as the existing one,” says the council report.

“It would be of interest – and useful as a means of knowing the time – to people waiting for a bus or simply passing by.

“In many ways it is an ideal location and council can give any permission necessary.”

Councillors hope engineering students from Crewe UTC will be involved in making the new clock.

“Hopefully, the solution being put in place for the existing clock in the Cocoa Yard will be successful, so that will continue as a point of interest,” adds the council report.

“But the ‘clock in the window’ will be a new venture.”

Town councillors are set to discuss the idea at the monthly meeting tomorrow (April 11) in the Civic Hall. The meeting starts at 6.30pm and is open to the public.

(Pic of Millennium Clock by Espresso Addict, under creative commons)


  1. John Doherty says:

    How about this ? Cheshire East approach the BBC tonsee if the Repair Shop is interested in repairing the clock. Great opportunity to “market” Nantwich and for the BBC to show commitment to the north west

  2. Des Turner says:

    Sf benches are for all, or had you not realised that?? the point was it enables folk to linger longer, shop longer and appreciate the town, clearly you do not!!

  3. Benches works for the elderly what about younger generation or how you happy living in the past

  4. This is typical of Nantwich Town Council. The idea of the clock in the first place was worth consideration. The key question what business plan was applied before the clock was commissioned. What was the initial cost, what evidenced was obtained to determine it maintenance cost over a long period of time. Remember the tax payer pays the bill?
    These are actions all sensible purchaser make when considering a major purchase , whether its is house , a car etc.
    It is also normal business practice.
    Good ideas are not always practical or ongoing costs to the tax payer should mean they are not commissioned in the first place.
    When you add all these ideas it costs the tax payer excessive amounts of money. It has accumulative effect when monies are spent on projects that have no real benefit or cost to much to maintain.
    I am sure many residents remember the ‘ Fountain in Nantwich Lake’
    Another good example of money wasted. This cost several thousand pounds of Council Tax Payers money.
    Lets hope common sense will prevail, a full SWAT analysis in business terms would be a start.
    That is a analytical business process which determines and identifies, the weakness, strengths, advantages and threats to any proposed plan to commit tax payers money to another potential white elephant.
    Will the Town Council please publish the total cost of the clock and all costs since concept, installation and ongoing maintenance.
    I have no problem with sensible expenditure that delivers value to the tax payers of in the boundaries of the Town Council.
    The idea of an art competition sounds excellent, with the winners work being displayed in the town. In a glass cabinet that works effectively.

  5. Any more hopeless ideas you can think up???? A clock in the civic, really I give up have you not noticed there is a clock viewed from the bus station it’s on the library.

    £7k should be spent on street benches around the town, what better way to sit and admire Nantwich from the comfort of a communal bench, linger longer in the town and spend more, leave this clock where it is madness to spend dosh on moving it

  6. Why not create an annual “art”:competition for people of Nantwich to show their creativity and pride in Nantwich. Each year something new, fresh, creative, innovative which will bring in people . I’m sure school, colleges, local associations would join in and of course local sponsors I’m sure would be happy to become involved. Probably save CE spending money.

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