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Stopped Clocks

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Created on: 25th Jan 2004 (active for 17 years, 8 months) by misteralfie

Last updated: 28th Jun 2014, 14:08

Has 590 images, 6 videos and 2 audio files, of which 8 have been highlighted.

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Stopped Clocks is a public collaborative project which exists to first document all the stopped clocks in the UK, with the aim being to restore those we can to working order. Anyone can help, so please send us any information on stopped clocks in your area.

The overall aim is to try and provide the information and organisational tools for people to have clocks in their neighbourhood fixed, by collaborating in fund raising activities, and in general raising awareness of stopped clocks around the country.

At the same time, the themes of disconnect with our recent past, and the move from an analogue to a digital lifestyle/culture are themes present simply in the images posted.

I once took a walk around a square mile in central London, I found 11 stopped clocks, either Municipal clocks, church clocks or otherwise public clocks. After poking about and doing some research, I discovered that it really does not cost much to fix a clock, as there is a tendency within clock repair to replace very old clock mechanisms with a mix of digital and analogue mechanisms. For an average of £1,000, each of the clocks that I found could be repaired.

Clocks in the public sphere were once really vital - not everyone had watches, let alone wrist-watches until the early 70’s - you needed to be able to see what the time was and so they truly had a public function. Nowadays, with digital watches and mobile phones being the norm, the function of these clocks has all but disappeared. Does that mean though that they are redundant?

As a metaphor for our relationship with our past I think that stopped clocks are a potent symbol of the loss of our analogue past, how almost unknowingly we left behind so much when we entered the digital age. I hope you enjoy the blog, and will help add to this database of stopped clocks around the country, with the aim of getting them fixed.