Kendal Town Hall’s clock and familiar chimes will be paused from next Monday, 27 July, as a major town hall refurbishment gets under way.
Contractors will need to isolate the power supply to the Grade II-listed property at various stages of the building works and this would affect the clock’s time-keeping, said a South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) spokesperson.
Rather than risk the civic timepiece being wrong and suddenly chiming in the middle of the night, the decision has been taken to switch off the clock and its chimes for around three months, with the clock hands paused at 12 o’clock. The council apologises for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause residents and visitors to Kendal.
The £4.5 million refurbishment will see Kendal Town Hall and South Lakeland House remodelled to create modern, efficient and accessible new offices for SLDC and Kendal Town Council, plus a new reception for SLDC, giving the council a presence on the high street.
Around half the office space at South Lakeland House will be available for other organisations to let, including “Mintworks 2”, a new enterprise centre for start-up businesses to build on the success of the existing Mintworks hub on Kendal’s Highgate. This will make the council’s HQ more effective and efficient and save money in the long term.
Kendalians will remember the town hall’s clock and chimes were last paused in June 2017 for a nine-month restoration project. Stonemasons replaced 188 crumbling sandstone blocks and carvings on the late-Victorian clock tower to preserve the landmark for generations to come.