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Elevenses again? Hang on a minute it must be... Unique clock, complete with Roman numerals error, in makeover.

Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY Staff Reporter

AKE a careful look at the ornate clock behind these gents and tell us what's wrong.

TYes, you've "clocked" it. The number 11 in Roman numerals appears twice on the face - and that makes the unique timepiece a prized Black Country folly.

Now the cockeyed clock has been lovingly restored and again takes pride of place at chemical group Solvay's site in Oldbury.

Dating back to the Victorian era, the face tells you it's time for elevenses at nine. That's down to a clock-maker who wasn't too hot on Roman numbers.

It originally graced the front of a building in Trinity Street, known as the Carbon Shop.

Records show that the clock's original mechanical movement had been scrapped by 1970 and it underwent some restoration work in the early 1980s. Although its electric drive failed about 10 years ago, it remained in place until the Carbon Shop was demolished in 2014.

The clock's dial and hands were preserved, and a member of Solvay's staff then volunteered to pay for the restoration. It now hangs on the wall of the staff canteen.

Dr Terry Daniels, chairman of Langley Local History Society, welcomed the refurbishment. He said: "We congratulate the company and the person who paid for its refurbishment. So many of Langley's historic buildings have been lost in the name of progress, taking strange features like the clock with them.

"A picture of the clock was published in 'Langley and Roundabout', in 1997 with help from Albright and Wilson. We are pleased that the clock has been preserved to bring a smile to future generations."

Jean-Francois Berthiaume, site director at Solvay Oldbury, said: "The clock, with its charming two '11s', is familiar to most people at the Trinity Street site and it has survived a number of changes in ownership over the years.

"When the old Carbon Shop was demolished, many people were keen to see the clock sympathetically restored with its mistake left for posterity, and we are very grateful to the member of staff who volunteered to fund this project.

"We are delighted that the clock is now running again, thanks to a little help from modern technology, which will also ensure that it resets automatically after power cuts, and automatically adjusts to daylight saving times."

We are delighted that the clock is now running again, thanks to a little help from technology

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 3, 2016
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