Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Fire Brigade at Christchurch, London Rd St Leonards

Fire Brigade at Christchurch, London Rd St Leonards

Time and the traffic stand still in St Leonards

Traffic came to a standstill at the bottom of London Road, St Leonards on Wednesday afternoon when East Sussex Fire and Rescue personnel closed the road. Fortunately, HOT reporter Richard Hull happened to be out and about with his camera phone.

Buses queue on London RdBystanders watched curiously as a fireman and a civilian rose up into the sky above London Road, standing on the Aerial Lift Platform of a turntable ladder. However, none of the usual suspects appeared to be the cause of the dramatic display – no obvious fire, flood or other such phenomena, no desperate person perched on the roof (whether deliberately or accidentally), no cat on the roof, not even a trapped seagull (see Joe Fearn’s exemplary account of a Fire Brigade rescue of just such a trapped gull).

London Rd, St Leonards“Hmmm” I thought, “this is so bizarre I’d better take some pictures”, so I did. Speaking personally, I would love to see more contributions to HOT from people who happen across little scenes, whether of the everyday or the extraordinary – and as you can see from my photos, we do not demand professional quality images.

Anyway, back to the story. Asking one of the Fire Brigade personnel, I was told “They’re attending to something on the roof.” Very informative.

Fire Brigade inspecting clockAsking around the many onlookers I then heard that “It might be about that clock arm there – no, that one on the other clock face – look, it’s swinging in the wind.” Sure enough, although I cannot capture the scene with a still photo, I could see that the minute hand of the south-facing clock face on Christchurch Tower was indeed hanging down at 12.30 and swinging gently back and forward, away from the tower and back again. Yes, I could just imagine it, the arrow of time hurtling ground-wards with devastating effect!! Oh horror of all horrors.

Happily for everyone no such horror took place. After inspecting the clock face the two men on the platform returned to earth and I was able to quiz the civilian about the incident, but he could only confirm the onlooker’s account. Ahh, the difficulties of citizen journalism.

Church clock stabilisedUnfortunately I could not hang around to capture further developments but when I returned later that afternoon I could see that, somehow or other the clock arm had been stabilised – at approximately 12.14, give or take a gust of wind.

If you have any further information, details or even irrelevant observations, feel free to comment below.


Posted 21:23 Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 In: Home Ground

1 Comment

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  1. Erica

    Great article Richard. I left the studio just as the firemen were removing the incident tape, and I did wonder what had been happening!

    Comment by Erica — Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 @ 08:33

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