26 Jun 2019

Work to repair and restore the damaged heritage clock towers in New Brighton and Scarborough will begin in July.

Christchurch City Council has given heritage-experienced contractors Cook Brothers Construction Canterbury the job of leading the restoration work on the two landmark clock towers.

The Scarborough Clock Tower.

Scarborough Clock Tower dates back to the 1930s.

It is expected the restoration work will take about six months.

“Cook Brothers have a great track record of heritage repairs and we’re confident they will do a fantastic job in returning these clock towers to their former glory,’’ says Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge.

The clock towers, both of which date back to the 1930s, have been fenced off since early last year while extensive structural investigations have been done to determine the extent of the repairs required.

That investigative work showed the earthquakes and the years of exposure to the harsh seaside environment have left the clock towers in a poor condition.

“Both clock towers suffered structural damage in the earthquakes and have historical damage that needs repairing. The investigative work we did revealed there was chlorides in the concrete which has caused the underlying reinforcing steel to corrode in places,’’ Mr Rutledge says.

“There is also evidence in both towers of poor quality concrete cover to the steel – for example, at the very top of the Scarborough clock tower you can see where some of the reinforcing has been exposed.’’

Mr Rutledge says of the two clock towers, New Brighton needed the most repairs. It has two internal floors that need replacing because they have significant cracks in them.

The clock faces on both towers also need to have work done on them.

“The clock faces and mechanisms from the both clock towers have already been removed so they can be restored. Because of the heritage significance of the clocks, we want to retain as much of the original material as possible.

“However, the cast iron features on the clock faces have become heavily corroded in places and some parts of them will need to be cut out and new sections recast,’’ Mr Rutledge says.