Before the wristwatch there was the town clock. It was the centrepiece of community life, heralding every quarter-hour.
Sydney Town Hall’s clock was installed at the top of the building in 1884, just prior to the boom of the wristwatch at the dawn of the 20th century. More than 130 years later the chimes of the clock can still be heard above the din of the traffic noise.
The walk to the top of the clock tower is a long spiral of circular staircases. Their timber frames gradually become creakier and more flexible the further you ascend.
The tower itself, the oldest clock tower in Australia, was completed more than 10 years before the clock was installed. At the time it boasted some of the best views in Sydney. It sits at almost 60 metres above the street on the site of the first European cemetery in Sydney.
As the clock was a source of civic pride the Aldermen of Sydney sought a well-regarded clock maker to provide Sydney with its timepiece. British company Gillett, Bland & Co, who had installed clocks in Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace and the Royal Courts, were chosen.
In 1912 the proprietor of the hotel that once stood opposite Town Hall complained that the noise of the clock was damaging his business, preventing his patrons from getting a good night’s sleep.
Chimes ring out every fifteen minutes and a bell is sounded every hour. Each of the four clock faces on the tower point north, south, east and west. Originally the clock faces were lit by gas burners with eight burners lighting each face.
Are you overexposed on the Internet? Photo: love Maegan/flickr BY SIMON EDDS Despite almost all of my friends jumping on board, it wasn’t until early 2008 that I finally joined Facebook (and after reviewing my first few posts, I didn’t enjoy the experience very much). But sure enough, as my list of friends […]
BY REBECCA BATES @waitingforfood1 As DonateLife week draws to a close in NSW, Australians are being asked, ‘If you’d say yes to a life-saving transplant, have you said yes to becoming an organ and tissue donor?’ At the official launch at Westmead Hospital last Monday, Minister for Health Jillian Skinner urged citizens to not only sign up […]
By Nick Hicks Whether you’re a foodie, stay-at-home Mum, builder or chef in the hospitality industry, odds are you’ve heard of prestigious “three hatted” chef Neil Perry — Member of the Order of Australia and idol of young chefs everywhere. Perry owns and operates six restaurants with partner Trish Richards. Before his signature restaurant Rockpool […]