Picton clock and bell will be restored by October

Residents will see Picton’s iconic town clock restored to its former glory in October.

A group of passionate residents voiced their concerns over the state of the 1892 clock tower.

Wollondilly Council now believes it can undertake the important heritage project.

Lyn Davey put a call out on social media to ask councillor candidates for an update on the clock.

“The restoration of the clock will be a positive for the town,” she said. 

“I want to let the council know the community is out here and is willing to help. There seems to be a lot of interest from residents on social media about the state of the clock.

“The town needs this morale boost. Residents would love a working clock.

“The clock tower is a key focal point for the town and it is part of Picton’s history.

“It would be wonderful if people on walking tours or people arriving at the town could see the right time.”

In 2010, repair work to the clock mechanism and relay work were carried out.

The clock was again repaired in 2015 but the braking mechanism failed shortly after it was restarted.

Wollondilly Council’s infrastructure and environment director Michael Malone said the clock hands moved continuously in an un-timed manner in 2015.

“The clock was then turned off, which includes the bell, as it was not keeping time,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the previous parts supplier in Sydney is no longer in business and it has been difficult to find a new parts supplier that reflects the heritage value of the clock, even from overseas.

“Fortunately, the council thinks it has now identified another supplier, as well as a contingency plan for changing the mechanism; and we hope the clock can be functioning by October.”

Mr Malone said the clock and bell would cost $20,000 to $40,000 to repair.

Ms Davey used to work for the council as a tourism officer and has a keen interest in history. She is helping with the restoration of St Mark’s Anglican Church.

“The three bells in Picton would chime around 9am on Sunday morning from St Mark’s Anglican Church, St Anthony’s Parish and the town clock bell,” she said.

“The lovely bell sound would sound through the valley. It used to chime on the hour.”

The clock would be set for the bell to toll between 9am and 6pm, seven days per week once it is operational. This timeframe was negotiated and agreed to by neighbours living near the clock in 2010.

The council said there were no heritage grants available before the works would be carried out in October.

Mr Malone said following the successful repair of the clock mechanisms, the council intended to look into some funding programs that could go towards the refurbishment of the four clock faces.