May 22 was the 47th anniversary of the Elizabeth clock tower. Author P.E. Russell recorded the clock’s origins for posterity and we've used their words to take a look at its history. ^^ The Elizabeth City Centre clock tower first rang its chimes on Friday, 22 May, 1970.
Every town centre needs a focal point and in Elizabeth, the much-loved clock tower, based at the Elizabeth City Centre, is that focal point.
The sound of chimes first rang out over Elizabeth at 10am on Friday, 22 May, 1970.
Comprising Westminster chimes, the five bells weigh 1328 kilograms, while the stricker (the striking device) weighs 500 kilograms.
The bells were made at the Whitechapel Bell foundry in London and were stamped at the time of casting with the name ‘Mears’ and dated ‘1968 London'.
The bells do not swing back and forth but are stationary and are struck by a mechanical hammer.
Meanwhile, the stricker was made by Messers Gillen and Johnston of Croydon, England.
The tower clock and chimes system were supplied and installed by Simplex International Time Equipment Pty Ltd of South Australia in September 1969.
It was hoped the chimes would first ring out over Elizabeth on New Year’s Eve to welcome 1970, but unfortunately the stricker did not arrive in time.
The master clock, which is housed in the ground level of the clock tower, has in-built batteries which are automatically charged to take over in the event of a power failure.
The four faces of the clock are each approximately 2.5 metres square and the bells chime every 15 minutes, while the tower itself stands 31.6992 metres tall.
The Clock tower stands tall and square
With a face you can see whenever you care
It stands as a symbol great and tall
Looking over the city, the shops and mall
A symbol of status is this clock to me
Whenever I look up the time to see
I remember back to the town at its birth
And now see a city of great worth. If you are interested in the City of Playford’s history, contact Daina Pocius (8256 0382, 8256 0334 or firstname.lastname@example.org).