Let’s fix the Stopped Clocks

One of the little annoyances in my life is that the clock on the Newtown Post Office in Sydney is permanently stuck at 3.45pm. Public clocks, key piece of civic infrastructure in the Victorian age, are now neglected.

I was therefore rather pleased to stumble across this video clip promoting the Stopped Clocks movement which appeared on the BBC’s The One Show .

Would anyone like to start a Sydney chapter with me? If so, what Stopped Clocks do you know about?

10 Replies to “Let’s fix the Stopped Clocks”

  1. You’re lucky! In Newcastle, its not just the clocks that are permanently stuck, our whole city is permanently living out the 70s.

    Walking down Hunter Street is a cross between an Aussie version of Life on Mars and Underbelly (with less boobs).

    Good luck on your quest, I’m off to get my mullet extensions done…

  2. @Gordon Whitehead : How do you get a mullet when you have a shaved head? Seriously, you’ve once more reminded me that I need to visit Newcastle soon — and drag along ’Pong so he can explore his “urban decay” photography some more.

  3. Oh yes, please — it will give me something to do when I’m not correcting apostrophes. I’ll nominate the ones on the old Grace Brothers building at Broadway — they haven’t stopped but they show radically different times. One is about 10 minutes slow and the other 10 minutes fast.

    OTOH, one feels that W.H. Auden would not be joining this movement.

  4. CityRail clocks without hands are standard fittings at Central station and at Circular Quay station.

    These artistic installations, entitled “Clocks without hands” represent the experience of waiting through an unlimited duration.

    Official Spacemaster and Timelord of the CityRail bubble matrix, Freaking Mindboggler, is proud of the low cost of the installations. “They were achieved by wresting the hands from traditional, functioning clocks, no longer relevant to CityRail’s current services,” he boasts.

    Staff are being retrained to practise hand-wrenching elsewhere in the system. They were previously involved in removing drinking cups from carriage lobbies, and soap dispensers from toilets on CityRail trains.

    “It’s a new look,” Mindboggler enthused, “to brighten stations with cheap pop art that is timeless.”

  5. @Chester Graham: Not bad work at all, Sir! I would add to the list of Removed Utilities the simple seat, or bench. We have an ageing population, but fewer and fewer comfortable seats for them (us?) to sit upon at the end of a long day. Barbaric.

  6. He wrote the following:

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

  7. The Menzies Hotel has the biggest stopped clock in Sydney, it’s been on 12 O’clock for years.

    An office block on Spring St in Bondi Junction has a huge static dial way up on the 9th floor and the clocks of Rockdale Town Hall wander ahead and behind the correct time by up to 40 minutes — Drummoyne Council Chambers has an interesting and varied opinion of local time.

    Burwood Post Office is yet another sleeping timepiece, misguiding many rail commuters with the time correct only twice daily.

    Time also stands still at Cronulla Surf Club, also the rear of Cronulla railway station, Engadine central shopping plaza, Hurstville ‘Clock tower medical centre’ (not sure what that indicates!) and Mossman Village Shopping Plaza.

    Redfern Post Office is stopped right enough as was the the clock on Newtown Shopping Plaza until it finally disappeared altogether.

  8. @wotcher: Thanks very much for that valuable addition to the… well, “database” is too strong a word.

    I haven’t touched this idea in a few months, but will probably come back to it soon. I think once we have that critical mass of five people then something will happen.

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