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Forgotten clock to be restored to its former glory

PUBLISHED: 20:15 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 14:37 07 September 2010

By Penny Stretton A FORGOTTEN 100-year-old clock in Muswell Hill is to be restored to its former glory thanks to residents and Haringey Council s Make a Difference scheme. The Langton clock on the Broadway was about to be binned for good when resident Joh

By Penny Stretton

A FORGOTTEN 100-year-old clock in Muswell Hill is to be restored to its former glory thanks to residents and Haringey Council's Make a Difference scheme.

The Langton clock on the Broadway was about to be binned for good when resident John Hajdu stepped in to save it.

He said: "I've lived here for 33 years now and I've always noticed the clock. I've often thought it was sad that it's not working and I felt it should be restored for everyone around here.

"I approached the owner of the shop below it and found out he was on the verge of taking it down and scrapping it, so I was just in time. He was delighted that someone actually cared about the clock and wanted to do something about it, so he was very helpful."

The council has a yearly Make A Difference fund and residents can nominate community projects that deserve the cash. Last week the Broadway reported on how the scheme will help to create a new public garden in Crouch End and now residents hope it will get the Langton Clock back in working order.

But it has taken Mr Hajdu two years of planning to be in a position to apply to the fund.

"First of all I had to find a clock maker," he said. "I was very lucky to find John Kendall in Fortis Green. He knew all about the clock and had actually looked at it before and he agreed to help.

"I also had to find someone who could lower and transport the clock. Finally I put together quotes and a bid on behalf of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Residents Association and put it forward to the Make a Difference fund.

"I am delighted to have been informed that the application has been approved and we will be able to go ahead with the restoration."

The clock, which sits above the Kate Quba shoe shop, stopped working some time in the 1970s but it has a long history.

"We believe that the parade of shops in Muswell Hill was laid out by the Edmonson family in 1898 and E.W Langton established a watch and jewellery business there around that time. We think the clock dates back to at least the early 1900s as we have postcards from 1904 with images of the area that show it," said Mr Hajdu.

"The shop closed at some point between the late 80s and early 90s and the clock has not been working for at least 25 years."

The estimated cost of repairing the historic Muswell Hill timepiece is around £3,500. The face and hands will need to be replaced but restorers are unsure about what will need fixing inside until it has been taken down.

Mr Hajdu said: "This really is great news because the clock is a well known sight to everyone who lives in Muswell Hill and after 100 years it deserves to be looked after."

broadway@hamhigh.co.uk

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