The historic Holbeck Clock Tower in Scarborough to get major restoration works

Scarborough councillors have backed a major restoration of the town’s Holbeck Clock Tower.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 5:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 8:56 am
The historic clock tower has been shrouded in scaffolding for months. Photo: Steve Bambridge/JPIMedia
The historic clock tower has been shrouded in scaffolding for months. Photo: Steve Bambridge/JPIMedia

The Grade II listed building at South Cliff Gardens dates back to 1911 and is in need of replacement lead work and repairs to cracked and eroded stones.

Speaking at a Scarborough Borough Council meeting, Cllr Will Forbes said he was “shocked at the state” of the clock tower. He said it looks “immaculate” from the outside, but is “actually in quite a bad way”.

The repair works will involve steel rods being used to “stitch” cracks in the building. All corroded ironwork will also be removed.

The clock tower was built in commemoration of the Coronation of George V in 1911 and was gifted to Scarborough by businessman Alfred Shuttleworth.

According to the Friends of South Cliff Gardens group, the original designer of the building remains unknown.

The clock itself was manufactured in Leeds and originally had to be wound manually.

It was upgraded to an electric motor in the 1960s after a council employee tasked with winding the clock reportedly became stuck in the tower overnight when his ladder slipped.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Bill Chatt said the repair works are “much-needed” as Scarborough “doesn’t want to lose” the clock tower.

He said: “This is a very historic building and we need to be sure of its preservation.

“I think the work will be done sympathetically and correctly.”

The clock tower has been shrouded in scaffolding for months.

The approval of the repair works comes as a historic tunnel that has been bricked up for nearly 50 years is set to be reopened this summer to help link the South Cliff Gardens.

Restoration work at the gardens has been taking place since spring 2021 and part of the project is to open up the old tunnel beneath the Spa Cliff Lift which closed in 1973 for safety reasons

The project is being funded by the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund and Community Fund.