Published July 19, 2016 at 15:23
Rossendale Borough Council is pleased to announce that The Bacup THI Project has successfully completed the impressive restoration work to the Pioneer Building Clock Tower.
When the scaffolding came down on Pioneer Building it revealed the completion of the most technically challenging aspect of the improvement works to Pioneer Buildings the restoration and structural repair of the clock tower.
The most noticeable element of this is, of course, the restoration of the clock itself; bringing it back into use after more than fifty years. The work involved removing and rebuilding the clock faces, installing new computer controlled electric clock motors, and restoring the illumination of the clock faces. This work was undertaken by clock makers Smiths of Derby who also installed the original clock back in 1914 and this original clock mechanism is still in place inside the clock tower.
The most critical part of the restoration works to the clock tower, and to the building as a whole, has been the structural repair of the stonework. Before the works began most of the joints in the stonework had failed and the stonework was moving apart at the corners.
As well as completely repointing the stonework using traditional lime pointing the key element of the work has been to use cintec ties to pin the stonework back together – these are stainless steel rods encased in a fabric sock into which grout is injected at high pressure creating a strong mechanical and chemical bond between the tie and the surrounding stonework.
Additional strengthening as also been provided by fixing new steelwork to the inside of the clock tower.
After 100 years exposure to Bacup’s weather the leadwork at the top of the clock tower had begun to deteriorate. A careful assessment of the condition of the leadwork was unertaken and areas of leadwork beyond repair identifed. These areas have been replaced using traditional lead roofing techniques.
The interior roof timbers were also assessed and found to still to be in very good condition – testiment to the quality of the original leadwork and the importance of catching the deterioration ‘just in time’.
The restoration works have also involved renewing all the windows and renovating the decorative metalwork at the very top of the clock tower
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