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28 October 2014

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Sunday 10th October 2004
Camborne Clock Tower Complex
The BBC Radio Cornwall Team Weaklings
Camboene Clock Tower

Residents in Camborne are being reassured by new owners that the Clock Complex will be tastefully restored. The building was once the centre piece of the town, but has fallen into disrepair in recent years.

Reg Bennets
Reg Bennets from the Camborne Town Council with the winding handle.

The Camborne Clock Complex was designed by William Bond over 160 years and presented to the Basset family in 1866.

It was a grand and impressive building, which was centre point of the town, housing public facilities, such as a market, concert hall, and a corn exchange.

In the 1920s, the complex was sold on to a private owner. But in recent years, the building once hailed as the heart of Camborne has fallen into disrepair. Locals have expressed their concerns over the appearance and the use of the complex saying it's giving a 'rundown' image of the town.

In September this year, it was announced that the Camborne Clock Tower Complex had been bought by the Vigus family who also own the L2 nightclub in Truro. One resident and grand daughter of the architect, Jeannette Merritt took the opportunity to make her concerns heard at a Camborne Town Council meeting.

"I think it was very important building in the town and it should be used for the purpose it was originally intended for" Mrs Merris is particularly worried about the bell tower, saying that 'the woodwork could certainly do with a coat of paint!'

Reg Bennets
The clock workings.

The old 'Club Euphoria' sign placed on a flaking wooden board is a reminder of just part of the buildings history. A cinema, skating rink, nightclub, bar, shops and restaurants were all housed in area at one stage and locals hope that with new ownership, the building will provide something for everyone.

The new owner, Tim Vigus is in the very early stages of putting planning proposals together, but says he will tasteful and fully restore the building to its former glory:

"There will be a small club, a wine bar/restaurant, which is something that the town desperately needs. There will be a retail unit, maybe for a clothes shop on the ground floor."

The bell tower and clock mechanism is still owned by the Camborne Town Council and will be maintained. The workings are still in their original condition and are a fantastic reminder of the work and precise engineering that was carried out in the late 1800s.

The Clock Tower
Looking at the clock face from the inside.

Hear the clock bells in action and find out more about the plans and history of the Camborne Clock Tower Complex in the audio report below

Click here to listen to Alex Full's report



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