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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news