Blakers Park Clock: a history

March 2024

The lovely Clock Tower in Blakers Park is a local landmark. Its distinctive, delicate design add to its rarity as one of the few Victorian clock towers remaining in their original setting.

It was paid for by Alderman John Blaker who gifted the land for the park to the town in 1894 and who then donated a further £1000 for the construction of a clock. It was said that he wanted to make sure local children were not late for school. The clock was built by Gillett and Johnson of Croydon to a design called ‘Little Ben’ and the purchase invoice shows that it cost £450.

The makers described it as a ‘Four Dial Striking Clock the dials being 5 feet across, the total height 50 feet, total weight 17 tons, made of steel, cast iron,  and bronze finished with a dolphin weather vane’ It was lit by gas.

The clock mechanism was formally started at 4 pm on September 15th 1896 by Miss Jessie Blaker, Alderman Blaker’s daughter, in the presence of  members of the Town Council and friends.

In 1984 it was dismantled, taken away to be re – galvanized and later reassembled.

Despite being maintained by BHCC, by 2022 it was losing time so in June 2023 Friends of Blakers Park decided to fundraise for its repair. This crowdfunding  began in November 2023 and is ongoing here.

These drone videos show condition of exterior in March 2024.

The target date for completing the fundraising is set for September 2024..

Other similar Clock Towers made by Gillett & Johnston are:

South Norwood Clock Tower  erected in 1907 Grade II listed built in honour of local benefactors Mr and Mrs W. F. Stanley.
Tritton Tower Brockwell Park 1897 erected in 1897 Grade II – which was completely renovated with G&J’s services in 2014 with the help of local community.
Creole Lorloz, Victoria ClockTower, Seychelles erected in 1903 and repaired in 1999. More details  here.
The clock is locally listed but with some errors here.
Donate to the Clock Fund