People around the nation are gearing up to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a variety of ways. There are plans for street parties, firework displays, the lighting of beacons and much, much more.
One group in Minehead have come together to raise funds to construct an 8.5m high clock tower, with three clock faces, a tidal times face and radial seating on Minehead’s seafront, opposite the West Somerset Railway Station.
The clock and tower have been designed by Conservation Architect and Marine Historian Peter Ferguson. He has based the design on that of a ‘Screwpile Lighthouse’ which serves to reflect the maritime location. The unique and practical structure will incorporate low-maintenance materials which should easily deter damage by bad weather or vandalism. All necessary legal permissions have been granted and the local council have pledged to be responsible for all future maintenance.
Funding is being generated by the generosity of advertisers, private donors, grants and local fund raising activities. The local community has been active in generating funds; there have been garden parties, walks, a jazz concert, a Celtic evening, and the Minehead Middle school took part in a competition to design posters. The local Rainbows, Brownies and Guides raised money for the project during the recent late night shopping event. In February the Minehead Male voice choir held a very successful concert, in the Methodist Church, to raise more funds and also the exposure profile of the project.
To encourage local people to contribute, anyone donating £30 or more can elect to have a chosen name on the base of the tower. Full information is available on the website: www.mineheadclocktower.org.uk
Another initiative that the group has undertaken is the construction of an information hoarding on the site of the proposed siting of the tower. There are six sides, all useable for display. Four are currently in use, two for information about the project, one to display the winning poster from the competition and the fourth for advertising kindly sponsored by local businesses who are keen to show their support.
The advertisements will be on permanent display for at least six months. Details of how to become involved can be found on the website.