St Giles Set To Get ‘Digital Clockface’ In Upgrade Plans
A planning application has been lodged to convert the historic clock faces on St Giles tower to digital screens displaying the time.
In documents submitted this week to Wrexham Council details are given to modernise the time display to a digital system ‘more readable at night’ with the current analogue system being replaced.
The famous bells are also being ‘upgraded’ to a full “digital audio experience” with the existing chimes being recorded prior to decommission.
The application reads: “The new system will allow exact replication of the current bells with additional functionality to allow standardised hour-beeps, audio messages and tunes to be played as and when required.” Speakers will be sited on the roof to broadcast the chimes and ‘bell’ peals.
The Design and Access Statement notes although the church itself is Grade I listed associated metalwork, which the hands of the clock is classified under, is not. The change is likely to prove controversial with St Giles tower, famously one of the Seven Wonders of Wales, dating back to 1506 with parts of the building being even earlier.
The reasoning for the change is explained by an accompanying external consultants report that includes local survey results showing 85% of tourists did not understand the time displayed, with some local residents in nearby flats ‘preferring a digital display’ as it would be ‘visible from their bedrooms’.
Austrian engineer Josef Pallweber who was interviewed while on holiday in Wrexham is quoted as saying: “The tower is beautiful but not functional, we have many light up displays on our tall buildings back home.”
Yesterday afternoon Wrexham.com arranged that the north side clock hands will be given to one lucky winner, with the first to contact us securing the chance to own the historic bronze set.
If plans are approved by Wrexham Council, and the relevant diocese officials, ‘upgrade’ work could take place as soon as June this year.
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