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Google Map of Old St Pancras railway station clockface

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In the 1970ís, London's St Pancras Station had fallen into disrepair and only just survived being demolished. British Rail planned to sell off its classic platform clock, built by Dent Clocks (the manufacturer of Big Benís clock) and arranged a sale with a US collector for £250,000. Unfortunately during dismantling it was dropped and smashed into pieces.

Roland Hoggard (pictured), a retired railway worker who was there at the time, collected the smashed pieces and took them back on a train to his home in Nottingham where he spent 18 months putting the clock back together. The dial which stands 10ft in diameter has been installed onto a gable of Hoggardís barn.

London and Continental Railways (LCR) - the new owners of St Pancras - were overjoyed to hear about Hoggardís story because they wanted to restore the station to its former glory, and didn't have accurate deatils of the orginal. Now that they have seen Hoggard's restored clock they are able to create an accurate replica. It will include the same Welsh slate numerals, cast-iron hands and gold leaf ornamentation that once adorned the original clock.

LCR has invited Mr Hoggard to a royal ceremony on 6 November, which is when St Pancras will be officially reopened before train services restart on 14 November. Hanging above him will be the exact replica of his clock.

(text and photo from World Architecture


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