Historic Clock to return to High Street after massive show of community support
Published Tuesday, 10th October 2017
The Worshipful The Mayor of Southend, Councillor Fay Evans, will unveil the restored Jones Clock at 76-78 High Street, currently occupied by YOURS clothing at 11am on Friday 20th October.
The clock was installed on the premises of R A Jones, a jeweller who was a major benefactor to Southend. Among many generous acts, he presented the Jones Memorial Ground to the schoolchildren of Southend in 1919, he gave Prittlewell Priory and Priory Park to Southend in 1917 and the Victory Sports Found in 1921. This clock was a feature of the High Street for most of the last century and the recognised place to meet for generations of Southenders. When it had to be taken down because it had become unsafe, it was not clear that it would return.
It has returned thanks to much hard work by:
- Yours clothing, who generously met the costs of taking the clock down safely and storing it;
- Southend Past and Present Facebook Group, who raised £8,000 in a crowd-funding project that saw donations come in from across the world; and
- Southend Museums, who obtained a generous grant from the Essex Heritage Fund which was crucial in completing the funding.
Cllr Fay Evans said: “I am very proud to be able to unveil the restored Jones Clock in this special year.
“It has been wonderful to see such a groundswell of support from the local community to return this historic landmark to its rightful place on Southend High Street.
“R A Jones was arguably our town’s greatest ever benefactor and it seems fitting that his generosity should be repaid all these years later as we celebrate 125 years since Southend was given its charter and 100 years since Jones gifted the magnificent Priory Park to the people of Southend.
“I would like to thank everyone who donated to the crowd fund, to Yours Clothing, Southend Libraries and Museum Service and Essex Heritage Fund, all of whom made this possible.”