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Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 14:35 UK
Leicester Clock Tower gets repaired after 70 years

Time stands still on Leicester Clock Tower after 70 years

Time will be, temporarily, standing still in Leicester City Centre while a major landmark is given a facelift.

The mechanism inside the city's historic Clock Tower will be stripped down, repaired and replaced, for the first time in more than 70 years.

It is Leicester's most famous clock but it has been slipping and slowly losing time over the past few years.

The work could take up to seven weeks. During that time, the lights inside the clock tower will be switched off.

English Heritage believes it is not time to change it to satellite technology yet.

Mechanism inside Leicester's historic Clock Tower
Parts can't be brought they have to be made from scratch
Andrew Hicks, Clockmaker

Andrew Hicks, a clockmaker at a Derbyshire firm, says repairing it is a specialised job.

"It was a Leicester company that specialised in building this type of clock - it's a very strange clock.

"Parts can't be brought they have to be made from scratch.

"So basically you're using the basic drawings were possible, but if you haven't got the drawings then we have a bank of knowledge that we can pick pieces out of."

The grade two listed tower was built in 1868 as a traffic island and as a memorial to four local benefactors.

Simon de Montfort was the Earl of Leicester who was effectively the king for a while having imprisoned Henry III, and who is credited with a big step towards Parliamentary democracy.

William Wyggeston was a rich merchant and Mayor of both Leicester and Calais, who endowed a school and almshouses.

Gabriel Newton was the founder of number of schools in Leicester and elsewhere and Thomas White, who set up a charity which still advances money to young people with a good business idea.

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