Posted on September 1, 2006

Clocks In Timeless City Have Simply Stopped

Nwabisa Nofemele, The Herald (SA), September 1, 2006

Clockwatching employees in Port Elizabeth’s city centre may have been wondering why their working day just never seems to come to an end.

Perhaps it’s because the clocks they are watching have stopped.

Two highly visible clocks mounted on landmark buildings — the Campanile (right) and City Hall — have not been working for months.

The Campanile clock stopped at 8.45 in June last year, while the clock on City Hall stopped at 11.30 just over a month ago.

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, which owns both the buildings, only noticed that the clocks were not working when The Herald pointed it out this week.

The Campanile, in Strand Street, was erected in 1923 and commemorates the landing of the 1820 British settlers.

The tower is 518m high and has a 204-step spiral stairway to the top which provides an excellent view of the city and harbour.

The tower has a carillon of 23 bells, 10 of which should ring three times a day.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said the City Hall clock was operated electronically and stopped when there was a power cut “a few weeks ago”.

He said both clocks would be fixed “as soon as possible”.