Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Clive Gross with the electric clock which has returned home to Marine Court.

Clive Gross with the electric clock which he has brought home to Marine Court and a specially commissioned cast model of the iconic building.

Return of the prodigal…clock!

Almost 80 years after it was first installed and 40 after it left the modernist landmark of Marine Court in St Leonards-on-Sea, one of the original electric clocks designed exclusively for the apartments in the building has finally returned home. Clive Gross tells Nick Terdre how it happened.

The striking black glass and chrome clock was one of five offered to a resident when they moved out of the block in the mid-1970s by the then caretaker and recently sold on an online auction site by another family member following their death.

Clive, proprietor of the St Leonards Central shop in Marine Court, had been looking for a period clock to install in a flat he is currently refurbishing in the building and after searching for over a year was amazed to find one of the original items for sale.

“After stripping off layers of wallpaper in the apartment we found a square hole in the wall blocked in with a piece of wood, which is where the clock would have been mounted,” he says. “Removing the block we found the electrical conduit and connection in place, so I went online to see what I could find that would fit, not expecting to find one of the actual original pieces! It is fantastic to bring the clock back home and I am looking forward to having it reinstalled in its rightful place very soon.”

In the meantime he has put the clock on display in St Leonards Central as part of the Inside Marine Court exhibition, which ran during the recent Coastal Currents Arts Festival and has now been extended until October 4th. The exhibition includes a range of images taken inside the building of the unique and unusual features to be found there, alongside a display covering its history as it approaches the 80th anniversary of the start of construction next year.

“There is a huge amount of interest in the building and what is happening to it now, so as it is not currently possible to arrange tours inside, I thought I would bring some of the inside out in the form of the exhibition,” he says. “I am hoping this will be the starting point for a bigger project about the history of the building to mark its 80th anniversary and really help put this important architectural landmark back on the map.”

St Leonards Central recently commissioned East Sussex-based architectural modellers Chisel & Mouse to create a limited edition of 20 cast models of Marine Court (pictured) which are now available through the store or via their online shop.

For more information about the exhibition and opening times, visit the St Leonards Central website or call 01424 425505.


Posted 21:05 Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 In: Hastings People

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