The Clock Tower

Abridged from “The Clock Tower at Warsash During the Period 1936-39”, Roy Knight, Warsash Local History Society Newsletter Number 1, October 1999. Please see this publication for the full article.

The Warsash Clock Tower was built as a water tower to serve the Warsash House Estate. The tanks at the top held up to 6000 gallons, but by the mid-1930s these were rusting and the tower had fallen into a state of dereliction. The huge brass works of the chiming clock (enclosed in a glass case on the second floor) had also stopped working. The clock was originally built by Gillet and Johnson, and was considered unique in its time because it struck Eight Bells (ship’s time). Around 1 ton of cast iron weights had to be raised to drive the mechanism. This was done using a handle attached to a drum of steel wire, and was reportedly hard work!

The Tower was purchased at auction in 1938 by Mr Victor Collins. He successfully bid £2000 for the corner properties that fronted onto Shore Road and a short distance up Brook Lane (just past Thornton Avenue). Mr Collins wanted to expand his garage to the crossroads, and within a few months had converted some of the empty buildings into the Clock Tower Garage. The remaining properties were sold or rented to local businesses.

And what of the clock? It was repaired in time for the Coronation of May 1937 by the local Police Constable, and father of one of our committee members!

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