My efforts to save the old hall clock
In answer to John Wood's query regarding the De Montfort Hall clock, it was taken down in the 1960s as being unsafe, during a refurbishment.
It languished in a storage area along with the old steel stackable chairs for many years until I heard word that, along with the chairs, it was going to be scrapped.
Not wishing to see this happen and working for Gent, the company which originally made and installed it, I persuaded the company to take it on board and see if we could restore it.
The clock was initially stored in the warehouse in the old Temple Road factory, awaiting a management decision to go ahead.
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Over a number of years, the company was subjected to a number of takeovers.
The clock was moved to a factory in London Street, to which Gent had moved part of its production.
Wood-cased products were made for the company by a firm also housed in one of the units in London Street, which offered to restore the case and the complete clock was taken by them.
Gent Company ownership and management changes led to a cessation of clock manufacturing.
Gent moved to a new factory and office building on the Hamilton industrial park in 1989 and the old factory, along with the London Street operation, were sold off.
The woodworking firm also changed hands, moved and eventually ceased trading.
During this time, all traces of the clock's location were lost and it may have been scrapped, as was the original intention 40-odd years ago.
I doubt that the clock now exists, but it would be interesting if it did turn up.
In December this year, I am putting on a pictorial display at the Wigston Records Office which illustrates Gent's involvement in designing, manufacturing and installing clocks from 1900 to the 1980s, when they ended this part of the business.
Copies of the history of the company and other clock-related publications will be on sale.
Colin Reynolds, FBHI, retired Gent employee and company historian.