Getting the tick to tock on the clock

The clock will soon be ticking on one of Plymouth’s landmarks.

Repair works are currently being carried out to Derry’s Clock, which takes pride of place in recently completed landscaped work behind the Theatre Royal.

Getting the clock working is the final piece of work being carried out as part of the public space improvements that has transformed the whole area between the theatre, the Bank pub and the nearby car park.

The clutter around the base of the clock was removed to improve the setting of the listed structure and space around the clock paved with natural stone to match other areas of the city centre.

The clock itself has been floodlit from its base and the whole area around the clock has been re-landscaped. With the clock tower now in a more appropriate setting, the only thing left to do was to restore the clock.

Councillor Tudor Evans said: “We recognise the importance of the clock to our senior citizens. Pre-war it was a prominent meeting place and although we can’t guarantee it will become that again, it will at the very least make sure that if people do pass the time here, it will be accurate.”

Derry’s Clock dates back to 1862 when local businessman (and later mayor) William Derry donated money towards the building a clock. Legal restrictions meant that the corporation was unable to fund building a clock but it could help pay to build a water fountain – which is what it did.

Although known as Derry’s Clock, it is officially a fountain, but has never been linked to a water supply.

Adrian Vinken OBE, Theatre Royal Plymouth Chief Executive said: “This is the last piece of the jigsaw for the new look landscape.  The clock has been given a good clean up and now, after decades of not working, it’ll hopefully start telling the right time again!”

Work is expected to be finished by the end of this week and scaffolding removed next week.

Landscaping of the area around Derry’s Clock was part of the Theatre Royal Plymouth Regeneration Project, a £7 million redevelopment of the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The project was made possible with an initial investment of £5 million from Arts Council England and the full support of Plymouth City Council.  The Theatre Royal Plymouth successfully fundraised the additional £2 million to complete the project.