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New clock unveiled for Haverhill

The Victory Clock is unveiled in Haverhill. Picture: Tudor Morgan-Owen ANL-150710-122758001
The Victory Clock is unveiled in Haverhill. Picture: Tudor Morgan-Owen ANL-150710-122758001

A poignant ceremony took place in Haverhill last Friday to mark the opening of a new town clock at the bus station.

The idea for the clock in Jubilee Walk - named the Victory Clock - was first proposed by St Edmundsbury Borough councillor Gordon Cox in September 2013.

Sadly, Cllr Cox never lived to see the project completed as he died suddenly on October 2 2014 - precisely one year before the clock’s unveiling.

Cllr Cox’s sons Bradley and Stuart and daughter Sarah all attended the ceremony, at which a plaque was revealed saying: “The clock is dedicated to Councillor Cox (1948-2014), who sadly passed away before his project came to reality.”

Speaking at the event, Bradley said: “Knowing how hard people worked on this I’m sure he would be very delighted with the end result.

“All my family are extremely pleased with what he has achieved in his life and knowing these kind of projects fulfil themselves after he has gone brings great pleasure.

“We are also very grateful to those who have chosen to dignify this clock in our dad’s memory.”

Cllr Cox wanted to see the clock designed and created by Haverhill residents and be situated in Jubilee Walk where the previous town clock, dedicated to former town clerk William Blake, had stood for many years.

The task of designing the clock was given to students at Samuel Ward Academy, under the guidance of the school’s head of art, Neil Williams.

The idea was that it would act as a commemoration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic torch relay that came through Haverhill in July 2012 and between them, the students and a structural engineer came up with a draft design that was approved by the town council in October 2013.

Speaking at the unveiling, Mr Williams said: “The town council took a brave move and said we could go and get a specially commissioned clock from a company or we could put some of our trust in the youth of our community to see if they could produce something equally deserving of this placement and in the past two years they’ve worked hard with a (Haverhill) company called Metcraft Engineering, Cllr Gordon Cox and several other people working on Sunday mornings to create such a wonderful piece of art.”

Mr Williams oversaw the production of the three angels that sit at the top of the clock tower, holding hands in the round as if celebrating the events of 2012 as well as being reminiscent of a crown of flames.

At the heart of the design was community unity and collaboration.

The three angels also represent the three counties that surround Haverhill - Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Mr Williams explained further: “It’s a beacon to say to those counties, come to us, come visit our youth, come visit our town, come visit the wonderful companies that we are surrounded by and blessed to have.”

The angels were cut and welded from sheets of stainless steel and polished by Samuel Ward students, with the main structure of the clock being based on the Olympic torch.

The mayor of Haverhill, Cllr Betty McLatchy, told the crowd of onlookers: “Cllr Gordon Cox fought so hard for the clock to be placed here, as he fought so hard for everything else he did.

“He would be delighted to see how special it has turned out to be.”

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