A famous mechanical clock, which has been frozen in time for decades, is the focus of retailers aiming to revive a Victorian shopping arcade in Leeds.
Dozens of traders with outlets in Handpicked Hall, in Leeds Grand Arcade, are launching a ‘Save the Grand Clock’ campaign this month.
The animated clock, installed by Wm Potts & Sons of Leeds in 1898, sits above the arcade’s Vicar Lane entrance.
It features two knights which used to strike the quarters, while on each hour a procession of five figures emerged and disappeared as a life-size cockerel crowed and flapped its wings.
But years of neglect have meant it no longer works, so retailers intent on reviving the arcade are aiming to raise £25,000 to have it repaired by a specialist firm based in Derbyshire.
Claire Riley, who co-runs Our Handmade Collective, in Handpicked Hall, said: “The arcade has fallen by the wayside over the years and I’ve seen photos of lots of people stood waiting for the clock to chime and that reminds me of a community feeling.
“It’s that kind of thing that we are looking to create in here.”
Retailers will launch the campaign in Handpicked Hall on August 31, when the venue will host a Grand Yorkshire Pudding Day to celebrate the region.
A Heritage Lottery Fund bid and fundraising events are planned to boost the campaign.
Anthony Blackburn, managing director of Handpicked Hall, said: “The clock brings a whole new opportunity to bring families back to here that have probably never seen this arcade.”
The campaign will feature on a soon-to-be-set-up Leeds Grand Arcade website and Leeds Trinity University students are set to video the revamp as it develops.
Leeds Grand Arcade began life as a shopping destination in 1897 but in recent years has been more noted for its nightclubs.
But the June opening of independent trading hub Handpicked Hall, which now has 124 retailers on its books, is hoped to spark a retail renaissance there.
Visit: www.facebook.com/savethegrandclock for details.