Chamberlain Clock c1912 (Photo courtesy of Carl Chinn and the Rose Villa Tavern)
The refurbishment of the Clock was a winning pledge in Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District’s (JQBID) 2017 renewal proposal. The project, led by the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust, has been able to happen through funds raised by the JQBID and the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage project.
In its current form, the Clock stands with significantly corroded paintwork and a broken timepiece. The cast-iron feature, which was last restored 30 years ago, will now undergo extensive operations to restore its internal workings, its clock face, and tower. While other exciting plans involve repainting the Clock, reinstating its bell, and cleaning the structure to its former glory.
Work in Progress photos
Removal of Chamberlain Clock, 22 August 2020
Pre- restoration photos
Joseph Chamberlain: Exploring his Legacy
With the help of the Beatfreeks-led project ‘Don’t Settle’ we will be recruiting someone to carry out research into Chamberlain’s links to the Jewellery Quarter and his role on the global stage, particularly his position as Secretary of State for the Colonies. This research will inform the text for a new interpretation panel which will be located at the site of the Chamberlain Clock. The research carried out will also be available on this page.
Joseph Chamberlain is hailed for being largely responsible for the fast-paced modernisation of the city whilst Mayor of Birmingham between 1873 – 76. Many locations and landmarks in the city are dedicated to him, including the Jewellery Quarter’s Chamberlain Clock.
First unveiled in 1903, the Clock commemorates Chamberlain’s visit to South Africa following the end of the Boer War. Chamberlain’s role as Secretary of State for the Colonies and his involvement in the British Empire is not as widely discussed, so through this project we commit to working with partner organisations and historians to further research this side of the story, to explore the impact and legacy of his colonial activity and to consult with communities about how these stories are told.
We will ensure that balanced, representative and accurate research is shared through new, permanent interpretation at the site of the Clock, our project website and other channels.
This pledge is electronically signed by the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District and Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage Project.
Further information and resources
We have compiled some useful and informative resources about Joseph Chamberlain.