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Finishing touches being put to Swansea Guildhall Clock Tower

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

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IT was once one of the tallest buildings in Swansea.

It was here long before the colossal Meridian Tower and the BT offices dominated the city skyline.

And now the final finishing touches are being made to preservation work at the Guildhall clock tower which was built almost 80 years ago.

Former city councillor Alan Lloyd was pleased to see the history of the city being preserved rather than modernised.

The 77-year-old worked as a councillor in the corridors of the Guildhall for 46 years and has a personal connection to the tower as his grandfather, Robert Lloyd, was one of the stonemasons who crafted the original clock tower in 1934.

Mr Lloyd said: "The German Luftwaffe used it as a marker when they were bombing Swansea, at least that's the story that went around.

"If you were flying it would be a marker because Swansea is a pretty flat city.

"That was the only tall building if you like.

"Having worked in the city centre for 30 years as a councillor I realised that it needed overhauling.

"I have been to the top of the tower when I was very young — I couldn't climb it now. When the scaffolding is taken down it will be bright and like new. It is money well spent."

The last time the clock was stopped for such a long period was in the 1980s by horologist Charles Dilley, and this time the work is being undertaken by his son-in-law, David Mitchell, who also helped back then.

The clock and building, which both survived the wartime Three Nights Blitz, became the headquarters of the former Swansea City Council, and have featured as a backdrop to television programmes including Doctor Who.

The refurbishment of the grade one-listed building is intended to maximise its potential as office space for council staff and as a venue for public events. During the project access will be through the main Brangwyn Hall doors which will only be opened by prior arrangement as the Guildhall entrance will be closed until the work is completed.

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