Restoration complete of historic landmark
WORK to restore Smethwick’s historic Council House is now complete. The Grade Ii-listed building, built 1905-07, has had its clock tower refurbished and terracotta facade restored.
The clock tower’s broken timberwork has been fixed, the metalwork on the clock face repainted and the tower itself has been returned to its original colour scheme.
The project also included the replacement of more than 100 damaged terracotta blocks, the pitched roof has been re-slated and flat roofs replaced. The building’s ornate roof domes have been redecorated and railings have been repaired.
The original designer was the borough architect Frederic J. Gill, who also designed several Smethwick school buildings in the 1890s and early 1900s.
The building’s clock is a rare “threetrain flat-bed with gravity escapement” by John Smith and Sons of Derby and is regarded as an important piece of horological history. Clock enthusiasts have visited it to admire its workings, as most of its kind were converted to electricity many years ago. The tower also has three bells from 1906, cast by John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough.
Councillor Steve Trow said: “It’s fantastic to see this building restored to its former glory and it is only right that we’ve done this work to preserve it for decades to come.”
Interior features such as the dome above the staircase (left) and the ceiling and roof window in the council chamber have been restored
The restored clock tower and facade
Sandwell Council Leader Steve Eling and Cabinet Member for Core Council Services Cllr Steve Trow with council staff and contractors involved in the restoration of Smethwick Council House