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Herne Bay Clock Tower

Issue: 4 Updated: 26th March 2016

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Recognised as the Britain's oldest free standing Clock Tower, & the Worlds first purpose built free standing Clock Tower

On the seafront at CT6 5JJ it's exposed to harsh salt air, winds, varying seasonal temperatures, & gulls all taking their toll

This copy free feature mixes contemporary & historic postcard images of The Clock Tower, Promenade & surrounding vicinity

Herne Bay Clock Tower in 1895

1. The Clock Tower in 1895

Herne Bay Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1900's

2. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1897-1898

Postcard from 1902

3. Postcard from 1902 with some great words!

The Clock Tower in the 1900's

4. The Clock Tower 1900's

The prominent Clock tower on promenade is Grade II structure, listed as a landmark in 1951 was a gift to Herne Bay from Mrs Ann Thwaytes, widow of a wealthy London Greengrocer

Herne Bay Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1903

5. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1903

Alternative postcard of 3

6. Alternative postcard of the Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1903

Herne Bay Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1900'

7. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in the 1900's

A frequent visitor & town benefactor, she stayed at a Mr Chaplin’s house #8 Marine Terrace, now #30. She donated £4000 to build what’s said to be the oldest free standing clock tower in Britain as a memorial to the fallen of the 2nd Boer war

Eastern Promenade 1900's

8. Eastern Promenade looking West in the 1900's

Clock Tower, Jubilee Fountain 1900's

9. Clock Tower, Jubilee Fountain with Pier beyond in 1900's

Tower Gardens in 1900's

10. Tower Gardens in 1900's

Clock Tower Promenade 1900's

11. Clock Tower Promenade looking East 1900's 

Promenade 1900's

12. Promenade 1900's

Promenade looking east 1900's

13. Promenade looking East 1900's

Designed by Architect Mr E J Dangerfield the foundation stone was laid on the 3rd October 1836. Constructed with deep foundations with arched basement vaults, the imposing structure was clad in Portland stone over a brick interior, it stands over 80’ to the weather vane top & was completed on October 5th 1837

South Parade 1900's

14. South Parade 1900's

Connaught Hotel 1900's

15. Connaught Hotel 1900's

Central Parade & Gardens in 1900's

16. Central Parade & Gardens 1900's

The Northern aspect surrounded by iron railings which were removed in 1937, contains a plaque to the men of Herne Bay who’d volunteered for the Boer war. This is flanked by a pair of what’s thought to be Dutch cannons dredged from the sea bed during construction of the third pier formerly on the pier & used for firing blank shot in fog

Promenade looking East from the Pier in 1903

17. Central Promenade looking East from the Pier 1903

Herne Bay Esplanade 1904

18. Herne Bay Esplanade in 1904

Clock Tower & Jubilee Gardens in 1900's

19. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1900's

Herne Bay Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1906

20. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1906

The last renovation took place in 1905 when the clock dials were replaced & the Portland stone work dressed. One of the workers down below was fatally injured when one of the clock weights broke free

The clock was serviced in the 1980's

Clock Tower & Tower Gardens in 1906

21. The Clock Tower & Tower Gardens in 1906

Goat Cart on Marine Parade in 1906

22. Goat Cart on Marine Terrance in 1906

Tower Gardens 1907

23. Tower Gardens in 1907

Herne Bay Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1910

24. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1910

Jubilee Fountain & Clock Tower 1911

25. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1911

26. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1911

Clock Tower 1912

27. The Clock Tower in 1912

Note the iron railings round base, removed in 1937

Clock Tower & Tower Gardens in 1912

28. The Clock Tower & Tower Gardens 1912

Shops, Divers Arms the Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1913

29. Parade of Shops, the Divers Arms horse drawn traffic passing Clock Tower in 1913

Herne Bay Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1913

30. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1913

Being close to the sea & the Plenty Brook outfall after inspection in 1964 the vaults were in filled with concrete. Initially the Tower contained a clock & large heavy 12 cwt bell, the first clock mechanism fronted by 5’ faces was replaced in 1971. Wound by hand twice a week the winder had to climb 66 steps to reach the top

At the turn of the Millennium a CTV camera was installed

In 2009 the clock again serviced

Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1914

31. Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1914

Promenade & Central Parade 1914

32. Promenade & Central Parade in 1914 (Fred C Palmer)

1915 Postcard of Promenade

33. Promenade 1915 Postcard

Rear of 1915 Postcard of Promenade

34. Rear of 1915 Postcard

Looking West from Tower Gardens

35. Looking West from Tower Gardens

Rough seas in 1916

36. Rough seas in 1916

Clock Tower & Gardens in 1917

37. Clock Tower & gardens in 1917

Tower Gardens in 1917

38. Tower Gardens in 1917

Clock Tower 1920

39. The Clock Tower in 1920

Clock Tower in the 1920's

40. Clock Tower in the 1920's

2012 Lottery Funding was granted in two phases with local authority monies work in earnest beginning in 2014 to renovate the building & the badly deteriorated stone work

Beach, Central Parade & from Pier in 1920's

41. Beach, Gardens & Central Parade from Pier 1920's

Rough seas 1920's

42. Rough seas in the 1920's

Promenade & Victorian Gardens 1920's

43. Central Parade & the Victorian Gardens in the late 1920's

Tower Gardens 1920's

44. Tower Gardens in 1920's

Clock Tower in the 1923

45. Clock Tower 1923

Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain 1926

46. The Clock Tower & Jubilee Fountain in 1926

Clock Tower & gardens 1930's

47. Clock Tower & Gardens 1930's

East Beach late 1930's/early 1940's

48. East Beach in late 1930's/early 1940's

Clock Tower & New Shelter 1940's

49. The Clock Tower & New Shelter in the early 1940's

Clock Tower & New Shelter 1940's

50. The Clock Tower & New Shelter beyond in the late 1940's

Clock Tower in 1947

51. The Clock Tower in 1947

Clock Tower & New Shelter in 1940's

52. The Clock Tower with the 'New' Shelter in the late 1940's

Left: The Divers Arms

Divers Arms 2014

53. The Divers Arms from the Clock Tower in 2014

Clock Tower & New Shelter 1940's

54. The Clock Tower with the 'New' Shelter in the 1940's

Clck Tower & Jubilee Fountain in the early 1940's

55. The Clock Tower with the Jubilee Fountain in the early 1940's

Clck Tower & Jubilee Fountain in the 1940's

56. The Clock Tower with the Jubilee Fountain in the 1940's

West Beach 1950

57. West Beach 1950

Central Parade 1950's

58. Described as Central Beach early 1950's

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