A much-loved landmark has been restored to its former glory and reunited with the community which worked tirelessly to save it from potential ruin.
Oakwood Clock is now back at the southern edge of Roundhay Park - where it has stood since 1912 - having been given a new lease of life after a fundraising campaign by residents.
The rapidly deteriorating condition of the clock sparked the formation of Oakwood Traders and Residents Association (OTRA) in 2012 which went on to raise the £270,000 renovation costs.
The landmark was removed in January for specialist tradesmen at Rhodes Engineering in Heckmondwike to carefully scrub away 100 years of dirt and wear and tear.
Iain Macniven, of OTRA committee, said he was delighted with the results: “It’s absolutely tremendous. The way it’s been done I think has been fantastic. I think it may well become somewhere people come to have a look - a sightseeing thing, because it’s quite stunning now. “It’s a great addition to the area and it’s a nice boost. It’s been hard work and quite intensive fundraising but it’s a great feeling of achievement.”
The painstaking restoration work involved dismantling the clock into 64 pieces which were then shot blasted, re-painted and repaired. Engineers also re-built the staircase inside the clock and restored all the mechanisms and dials. The four unicorns around the clock, the owl on top and the compass point have all now been gilded in 24.5 carat gold and eight ornamental columns added.
Harry Tranter, director of Rhodes Engineering, said he “very much” enjoyed the project: “It’s not every day of your life you get something like this. We’ve had some tremendous reaction. A lot of people came up to us and said how beautiful it was. It’s a very proud structure once it’s finished.”
The clock’s official opening will take place on Oakwood Day, a family fun day on May 2.