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The City Hall Clock is once again running on time after several glitches and subsequent repairs to this half-scale replica of Big Ben in London. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town undertook emergency repairs on the iconic City Hall clock after it stopped working in November 2013, and had been operated manually for short periods of time up until the fault was addressed and repaired.

‘Restoration and repairs have been completed on the City Hall clock and it is once again in full working order,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Garreth Bloor.

The clock in the turret is modelled on London’s Big Ben and is exactly half the size. It strikes the hours and chimes the Westminster Quarters.

‘A few contractors were called in to assess the problems, and it was decided that we needed to find a more specialised subcontractor who has the experience and a better understanding of historical clock mechanisms,’ explained Councillor Bloor.The company, Time Menders, was sourced as a specialised subcontractor and came to assess the issues. It was then decided that the clock was in need of complete restoration.

One of the main reasons that the restoration was needed was because the old grease and oil were impregnating the gear teeth. This can cause excessive wear on both gear teeth and pinions. Work therefore began in early 2014.

The clock was completely dismantled and all working parts were restored to original condition, with some re-engineering being done. All of the work was done to original specifications and all parts were kept original to ensure that no historical value was lost in the process.

‘As it is with any mechanical item, there is need for continual checks and maintenance. In light of what we have achieved to date, a system will be put in place where the clock is monitored on a regular basis, so that any wear on working parts can be analysed and repaired as soon as possible to prevent future problems’, said Councillor Bloor .

The next phase of the repair and restoration is currently being planned, and will commence during the first quarter of this year.

For more information on the restoration process, a detailed description can be found on the Time Menders website:

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