Plea to find hall timepiece
The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the De Montfort Hall clock has been intriguing readers of the Leicester Mercury letters pages this month.
Now, the venue has said it is keen to track down the historic clock and bring it back to the hall for its centenary celebrations next year.
The clock used to hang above the main auditorium at De Montfort Hall and is thought to have come down in the 1960s because of fears it might fall.
It ended up back with Gent, the Leicester company that made it, but, after that, it vanished.
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A De Montfort Hall spokeswoman said: "With the hall's centenary coming up in 2013, we'd be interested to find out more about the whereabouts of the missing clock. It's an important piece of the hall's history."
The interest in the clock was sparked by Mercury reader John Wood, of Glen Parva, who took a tour around De Montfort Hall during a recent Heritage Open Days event.
On the back-stage tour, he learned the clock had been sent away in the 1970s and had not been seen since.
He said: "This was a substantial clock and not something that could be 'misplaced'.
"It probably hasn't fallen down the back of a settee or been put in a drawer, so surely there must be someone, somewhere in Leicester who knows the fate of this magnificent timepiece."
In answer to John's letter, Colin Reynolds, a retired employee of Gent who is also the company historian, said the clock had come down because of safety fears.
He said: "It languished in a storage area along with the old steel chairs for many years until I heard word that it was going to be scrapped. Not wishing to see this happen and working for Gent, the company which originally made it, I persuaded the company to see if we could restore it."
He said the clock was put into storage and moved around when the company was subjected to a number of takeovers.
He said: "During this time, all traces of the clock's location were lost and it may have been scrapped.
"I doubt the clock now exists, but it would be interesting if it did turn up."
If you know anything about the whereabouts of the clock, call the Mercury newsdesk on 0116 222 4241 or e-mail: