In 1857 it was decided that the town of Alston needed a town hall – somewhere for people to get together for cultural gatherings and to give a ‘home’ to the local Poor Law Commissioners, the Mechanics’ Institute and the Savings Bank. A committee was formed and subscriptions collected. The hall was to be built in the centre of the town on a site donated for the purpose by Greenwich Hospital.
Hugh Lee Pattinson, the town’s printer who had purchased the first of Cooke’s turret clocks for his chemical works at Felling, returned to his birthplace to lay the foundation stone. It was a grand day in the town, with shops closed and flags flying in the warm summer sunshine. In a speech he gave following the stone-laying, H.I.P. informed his audience of the plan for:
“….a handsome clock tower, and it is proposed to furnish it with a good clock that will strike the hours and chime the quarters on three sweet-toned bells.”
That very same clock has remained silent for several years now and is in need of some TLC. To find out how you can make a difference by making sure that the clock strikes the correct time in the future … Read more…