Llanwern site planned for Newport's Festival Clock

South Wales Argus: The Festival Clock in John Frost Square in 2004 The Festival Clock in John Frost Square in 2004

COULD Llanwern be the final resting place of the much loved and iconic Newport Festival Clock?

Proposals are in with Newport Council 's planning department for the clock to be erected on a roundabout on the Queensway road, near the new Glan Llyn development.

However the planning application suggests the clock would not be the spectacle that crowds used to flock to before it was removed from the city centre..

A document filed with the application said the clock would be positioned on the former access roundabout for the steelworks.

It would not open "thus removing any distraction to drivers," the document said, but the clock faces on both sides would operate.

"The clock is to be sited in an area of change and will reflect the evolving character of the area," the document read.

Last year a campaign was mounted to oppose plans to scrap the Festival Clock, but in the end the council continued to keep it in storage at the cost of £8,000 a year.

Martyn Kellaway, Conservative city councillor for Llanwern, hadn't seen the plans, asked why a "broken clock" would be placed at Glan Llyn.

He said the clock has been fascinating to watch: "Why not keep it in Newport to form part of that area they are trying to develop?"

But Allan Morris, Labour Lliswerry city councillor, welcomed the proposal: "I would rather see it enjoyed than see it chucked in a cupboard."

Charles Ferris, Conservative city councillor for Allt-Yr-Yn, said: "It think its a good idea. It was costing them a lot of money to keep it in storage.."

Originally commissioned to represent Newport at the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992, the extraordinary clock delighted on lookers with characters popping out of it every hour.

It later found a home in John Frost Square but was removed and went into storage in 2006 for the city centre redevelopment.

Queensway is currently being upgraded by the Welsh Government into the dual carriageway Eastern Distributor Road to link to the M4.

The planning application will be decided by officers in the coming weeks.

A senior Labour councillor said he is dubious that the clock can be fully repaired to its original state.

Ken Critchley, cabinet member for infrastructure, said the council is seriously considering placing the clock on the roundabout as an option for its future.

It is thought it needs at least £50,000 in repairs.

Cllr Critchley, is responsible for the Streetscene department that has made the planning application, said: "Many of the parts have eroded and there's a high maintenance cost of that type of assembly."

Asked when the clock could be re-erected, he said much of that rests with the partners involved, such as Glan Llyn developer St Modwen and the Welsh Government.

Comments (32)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:29am Tue 28 Aug 12

wilkolima says...

Site the clock on a Queensway roundabout? Does anyone at NCC read the Argus? How many more traffic accidents would this cause as a visual distraction to drivers whether the clock were puffing out steam or not? That is if it stood more than a week before the local vandals or scrap metal pirates got at it.

As a relatively well-known feature of Newport which city dwellers and visitors alike once travelled to John Frost Square to see, surely its natural home is the city centre? I am sure that many people in the west of Newport have just, relevant and cutting opinions about how much development has taken and is taking place in the east of the city much to the detriment of the more equitable retail and leisure services they once enjoyed too. For the sake of equanimity, as well as aesthetic balance, why not place the clock on the river bank (perhaps opposite The Wave)? Or perhaps on Gilligan's Island if a positive sign of or plea for development were needed?
Site the clock on a Queensway roundabout? Does anyone at NCC read the Argus? How many more traffic accidents would this cause as a visual distraction to drivers whether the clock were puffing out steam or not? That is if it stood more than a week before the local vandals or scrap metal pirates got at it. As a relatively well-known feature of Newport which city dwellers and visitors alike once travelled to John Frost Square to see, surely its natural home is the city centre? I am sure that many people in the west of Newport have just, relevant and cutting opinions about how much development has taken and is taking place in the east of the city much to the detriment of the more equitable retail and leisure services they once enjoyed too. For the sake of equanimity, as well as aesthetic balance, why not place the clock on the river bank (perhaps opposite The Wave)? Or perhaps on Gilligan's Island if a positive sign of or plea for development were needed? wilkolima

9:42am Tue 28 Aug 12

flud says...

it should be returned to festival park where it's real home is
it should be returned to festival park where it's real home is flud

10:01am Tue 28 Aug 12

Dai the Milk says...

This is just cheap and tacky, much like the rest of Newport town (it is never a city). The centre needs millions spent on it to bring it up to the standard of other real cities.
This is just cheap and tacky, much like the rest of Newport town (it is never a city). The centre needs millions spent on it to bring it up to the standard of other real cities. Dai the Milk

10:47am Tue 28 Aug 12

Severn40 says...

Agree with Dai - the clock is tacky and has very little merit. It would deteriorate fairly quickly on the roundabout and would soon become an eyesore. It would be better scrapped.
Agree with Dai - the clock is tacky and has very little merit. It would deteriorate fairly quickly on the roundabout and would soon become an eyesore. It would be better scrapped. Severn40

11:12am Tue 28 Aug 12

WhyWorry says...

Why not put it in Rodney Parade everything else is going there.
Why not put it in Rodney Parade everything else is going there. WhyWorry

2:12pm Tue 28 Aug 12

Dai the Milk says...

WhyWorry wrote:
Why not put it in Rodney Parade everything else is going there.
He he he.........at least then there would be no excuse for too much extra time.
[quote][p][bold]WhyWorry[/bold] wrote: Why not put it in Rodney Parade everything else is going there.[/p][/quote]He he he.........at least then there would be no excuse for too much extra time. Dai the Milk

3:02pm Tue 28 Aug 12

s weaver says...

I would love to see the clock back in john frost square. some of us can,t get to out of town locations.
I would love to see the clock back in john frost square. some of us can,t get to out of town locations. s weaver

7:01pm Tue 28 Aug 12

larneman says...

I remember being taken to see the clock when I came home for a holiday with my Wife. We were both facsinated by it and thought what a great idea for tourism. We also noticed some silly looking statues and a big daft looking anchor thing. Why is it that when Newport has something to brighten it up the council can't wait to get rid of it. Who votes for these clowns. Wake up Newport voters and take note of who is doing what on your council then vote with your feet.OK so I don't live there anymore but Newport is still close to my heart and I hate to see it being ruined by don't give a sh1t councillors
I remember being taken to see the clock when I came home for a holiday with my Wife. We were both facsinated by it and thought what a great idea for tourism. We also noticed some silly looking statues and a big daft looking anchor thing. Why is it that when Newport has something to brighten it up the council can't wait to get rid of it. Who votes for these clowns. Wake up Newport voters and take note of who is doing what on your council then vote with your feet.OK so I don't live there anymore but Newport is still close to my heart and I hate to see it being ruined by don't give a sh1t councillors larneman

9:59pm Tue 28 Aug 12

rightsideup says...

Won't have to wait for too long before it's vandalised!.....
Won't have to wait for too long before it's vandalised!..... rightsideup

11:54pm Tue 28 Aug 12

Dee-Gee says...

Why on earth would you take something designed to be enjoyed by pedestrians and stick it on a bloody roundabout?
Why on earth would you take something designed to be enjoyed by pedestrians and stick it on a bloody roundabout? Dee-Gee

12:00am Wed 29 Aug 12

broadsworddan says...

Fifty grand is well worth it to have it repaired and returned to the city centre to compliment the new friars walk development. The moral and character it would bring to a revamped shopping area would be worth four times that. Anyway, fifty grand for a unique and fascinating piece of public art is a bargain. The wave cost nearly twice that twenty years ago. Get it mended and put back where it belongs!
Fifty grand is well worth it to have it repaired and returned to the city centre to compliment the new friars walk development. The moral and character it would bring to a revamped shopping area would be worth four times that. Anyway, fifty grand for a unique and fascinating piece of public art is a bargain. The wave cost nearly twice that twenty years ago. Get it mended and put back where it belongs! broadsworddan

12:01am Wed 29 Aug 12

broadsworddan says...

I meant morale
I meant morale broadsworddan

1:08am Wed 29 Aug 12

smokintheweed says...

Give the clock the birch and then hang it!!!!!!! I nominate rhinestine to punish the heathen timepiece!!!!
Give the clock the birch and then hang it!!!!!!! I nominate rhinestine to punish the heathen timepiece!!!! smokintheweed

3:23pm Wed 29 Aug 12

Matty639 says...

Is it just me that thinks it's an eye sore and should just be weighed in?
Is it just me that thinks it's an eye sore and should just be weighed in? Matty639

3:51pm Wed 29 Aug 12

ThisisMaindeewithtwoees says...

GIve the people what they want. The clock in complete working order, in a central place, with space around it to stand or sit to enjoy the spectacle. GIve the people what they want. Nearby businesses will benefit too, from the increased passing trade.
GIve the people what they want. The clock in complete working order, in a central place, with space around it to stand or sit to enjoy the spectacle. GIve the people what they want. Nearby businesses will benefit too, from the increased passing trade. ThisisMaindeewithtwoees

5:38pm Wed 29 Aug 12

swats123 says...

There should be a museum down by the Transporter Bridge which could hold the ship and such items as the clock, at least then there would be no need for expensive repairs as it would be inside and people could still see it. Newport CC needs to make the most of what we have and try to encourage people to Newport
There should be a museum down by the Transporter Bridge which could hold the ship and such items as the clock, at least then there would be no need for expensive repairs as it would be inside and people could still see it. Newport CC needs to make the most of what we have and try to encourage people to Newport swats123

4:26am Thu 30 Aug 12

brian819@btinternet.com says...

This item isn't a museum piece it needs a central and viewable position giving the public easy access. This means only one place and that is as near to town centre as possible equivalent to its original position.
It is an attraction and anyone who used to use the cafe in the town museum could have an excellant close-up sight of the clock from its windows.
The number of families I have seen from those windows sitting on the low brick wall in front of the clock, the children enjoying themselves,often eating a sandwich waiting for the clock to open was heart-warming.
Put the clock back where it will do the most good. Any councillor who thinks that it ought to be on some roundabout must have rocks in their head.
This item isn't a museum piece it needs a central and viewable position giving the public easy access. This means only one place and that is as near to town centre as possible equivalent to its original position. It is an attraction and anyone who used to use the cafe in the town museum could have an excellant close-up sight of the clock from its windows. The number of families I have seen from those windows sitting on the low brick wall in front of the clock, the children enjoying themselves,often eating a sandwich waiting for the clock to open was heart-warming. Put the clock back where it will do the most good. Any councillor who thinks that it ought to be on some roundabout must have rocks in their head. brian819@btinternet.com

8:41am Thu 30 Aug 12

Dee-Gee says...

Fifty grand is cheap as chips (hot from Vicara, eaten under the trees, watching the clock) for such an iconic artwork. It's seven years storage fees, think of it as an investment.

There must be arts grants out there that could help with the cost and help find the expertise for the repairs?
Fifty grand is cheap as chips (hot from Vicara, eaten under the trees, watching the clock) for such an iconic artwork. It's seven years storage fees, think of it as an investment. There must be arts grants out there that could help with the cost and help find the expertise for the repairs? Dee-Gee

1:52pm Thu 30 Aug 12

jameshargreaves says...

Just scrap it and move on look ahead newport i used to be prud to live here
Just scrap it and move on look ahead newport i used to be prud to live here jameshargreaves

1:52pm Thu 30 Aug 12

jameshargreaves says...

Just scrap it and move on look ahead newport i used to be proud to live here
Just scrap it and move on look ahead newport i used to be proud to live here jameshargreaves

3:22pm Thu 30 Aug 12

high x boy says...

in the city centre or nowhere
in the city centre or nowhere high x boy

3:54pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Lastpost says...

Put it by our futuristic railway station where Newport City councillors can see it every working day. It will remind them how much time they have wasted in failing to regenerate Newport City centre. Perhaps they could hang a Ryder Cup Host City flag on it or, more befitting, put up a 'To Let' sign on it.
Put it by our futuristic railway station where Newport City councillors can see it every working day. It will remind them how much time they have wasted in failing to regenerate Newport City centre. Perhaps they could hang a Ryder Cup Host City flag on it or, more befitting, put up a 'To Let' sign on it. Lastpost

5:09pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Dick Exile says...

It's a plastic looking monstrosity. All the dribbling people who've torn themselves away from daytime TV stop when the bell sounds and stare at it - it's like a scene from The Prisoner. I wish Newport would celebrate the history of the town, instead of removing it (for example, the Chartist mosaic)...is the history of John Frost not more important and interesting than this ridiculous clock!??
It's a plastic looking monstrosity. All the dribbling people who've torn themselves away from daytime TV stop when the bell sounds and stare at it - it's like a scene from The Prisoner. I wish Newport would celebrate the history of the town, instead of removing it (for example, the Chartist mosaic)...is the history of John Frost not more important and interesting than this ridiculous clock!?? Dick Exile

6:35pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Bill Payer says...

I love this clock and I think it should be restored and put back in central Newport as a draw for tourists, we need all the help we can get and I saw many nationalities come to look at and photograph our "Nick of Time" when it was up and running in John Frost Square. I don’t have a lot of money but I am willing to put something into a Save our Clock fund, if other Newportonians will do the same.
I love this clock and I think it should be restored and put back in central Newport as a draw for tourists, we need all the help we can get and I saw many nationalities come to look at and photograph our "Nick of Time" when it was up and running in John Frost Square. I don’t have a lot of money but I am willing to put something into a Save our Clock fund, if other Newportonians will do the same. Bill Payer

8:19pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Bobevans says...

Another daft brainwave by our local councilor .

The clock should return toNewport town centre. It may not be the greatest thing but it did draw the crowds

How can having it on a roundabout be sensible? I assume if they put it there it will not be working or it could potentially cause accidents
Another daft brainwave by our local councilor . The clock should return toNewport town centre. It may not be the greatest thing but it did draw the crowds How can having it on a roundabout be sensible? I assume if they put it there it will not be working or it could potentially cause accidents Bobevans

8:28pm Thu 30 Aug 12

digispamman says...

what happened to the dogs mess article?
what happened to the dogs mess article? digispamman

4:43pm Fri 31 Aug 12

welshmen says...

After are Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly.
After are Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly. welshmen

4:44pm Fri 31 Aug 12

welshmen says...

After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly.
After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly. welshmen

4:44pm Fri 31 Aug 12

welshmen says...

After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly.
After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly. welshmen

4:44pm Fri 31 Aug 12

welshmen says...

After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly.
After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly. welshmen

4:45pm Fri 31 Aug 12

welshmen says...

After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly.
After the Council have repaired the Transporter Bridge where are they going to put that? answers on a post card to Cllr Critchly. welshmen

10:41pm Sat 1 Sep 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

Why can't the council ever do what's obviously necessary? Repair the bloody thing and restore it in a re-vamped city centre - if you ever get around to it.Newport has already got a " white elephant " athletics stadium with a capacity that will never ever be used because they failed to maintain it.
What a dead loss these representatives of the people are, wake me up when they make a good decision!
Why can't the council ever do what's obviously necessary? Repair the bloody thing and restore it in a re-vamped city centre - if you ever get around to it.Newport has already got a " white elephant " athletics stadium with a capacity that will never ever be used because they failed to maintain it. What a dead loss these representatives of the people are, wake me up when they make a good decision! lowandhardandinthecorner

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree