Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Bells ringing out across Rotorua central city

Bells ringing out across Rotorua central city


Rotorua District Council property maintenance officer Phil Hunt (left) and Bill Groves check the workings of the chimes in Rotorua’s Seddon Memorial Town Clock.


A couple of days of tinkering has brought the bells in Rotorua’s Seddon Memorial Town Clock tower back to life after about 30 years of silence.

The Westminster chimes in the tower of the iSite building – five solid brass bells weighing about 2.5 tonne in total – are sounding every 15 minutes with an hour bell also sounding on the hour.

Getting the bells ringing again has been Rotorua District Council property maintenance office Phil Hunt’s “baby” for about a year.

The fourth generation Rotorua resident well remembers the bells ringing and being a “tinkerer” himself, jumped at the opportunity to get them ringing again.

“It’s really great to hear the bells ringing again,” he says.

Mr Hunt comes from “a family of tinkerers” and managed to ring them manually a year ago.

“It took a lot of force – everything had seized up. I realised I’d need to get a specialist to go through the workings and see what needed to be done. It took a while but we eventually found the right people,” Mr Hunt says.

He’s “absolutely rapt” the bells are ringing again but says they won’t be running 24/7.

They will be trialled between 8.15am and 11pm daily, Mr Hunt mindful of guests at the nearby Princes Gate Hotel and other central city residences.

He called on watchmaker Bill Groves to take a look at the old clock and bells.

“It’s a lovely old clock and it was very satisfying to get them running again – they needed a good overhaul and there’s still a little bit more cleaning up to do but they are running well,” says Mr Groves, a resident of Rotorua for 12 years following 40 years in business as a watchmaker in Wanganui.

Mr Groves soon realised the overhaul wasn’t a one-man job and contacted fellow clock expert Michael Cryns, who maintains the Auckland city clocks.

The bells will operate on a trial basis for now. Earthquake-strengthening work in the iSite building hasn’t yet reached the clock tower and after initially thinking the bells would need to be removed to enable that work to be carried out, further investigation has found it may not, in fact, be necessary.

Seddon Memorial Town Clock

• Named in honour of Premier Richard Seddon who died in 1906.

• A project of the Seddon Memorial Committee

• Clock and its bells manufactured to specifications by J B Joyce & Co, a company located in Shropshire, UK and shipped to New Zealand.

• According to Council records it appears the clock and its chimes cost £300.

• Clock and bells, or Westminster chimes, installed in Rotorua’s then post office building in 1914, the same year the building was opened.

• The Government of the time had to approve allowing for a clock tower in the post office.

• The clock is still wound up once a week.

-Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#SaveCampbellLive : Mediaworks Delivered 104,000 Petition Signatures At TV3's Newton HQ
#PonyTailGate #TailGate Full Coverage

Pukeahu Park : ANZAC 100th Anniversary Dawn Service In Pictures

Roughly 18,000 people gathered this morning at Pukeahu Memorial Park for the Anzac day centenary. Anticipating the large turnout, patrons arrived as early as 4.30. It was virtually impossible to get near the Memorial after 5am. By 6, the crowds on Taranaki Street had stretched as far back as the Z Petrol station.

The screens erected around the park displayed the live events to those who had turned up. The heat generated by the huge number of people caused many to take a turn. Medics and ambulances were on hand for the fainting crowd members. Only twenty minutes into the ceremony, one medic said they had already dealt with 15 to 20 spells. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news