Vellore’s British-era clock tower, in shambles, to get a makeover soon

The red-brick structure, which now serves as the entrance to the Nethaji flower market on the Kirubananda Variyar Salai, is in shambles.

Published: 30th August 2022 05:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2022 05:43 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VELLORE: A British-era clock tower that stands on the bustling stretch of Long Bazaar here is getting ready for a makeover. The red-brick structure, which now serves as the entrance to the Nethaji flower market on the Kirubananda Variyar Salai, is in shambles.

According to a stone inscription on the clock tower, it was erected by the public in commemoration of the coronation of King George V, Emperor of India, and Queen Mary. This stone was laid on April 6, 1914 by the then Collector of North Arcot NE Marjoribanks Esquire.

The facade of the tower also carries an inscription in memory of those who lost their lives in the World War.  It states, “From this village, 277 men went to the Great War 1914-1919. Of these, 14 gave their lives.” But its historical significance is almost forgotten due to lack of preservation. The clock stopped ticking some years ago and the century-old structure had faced structural damage after a tree started growing atop its roof.

Restoration efforts to begin
The Vellore City Municipal Corporation (VCMC) is going to carry out the preservation works of the tower. Last week, the tree branches were pruned from the structure. “The restoration work will begin in two weeks. We have carried out the preliminary survey. All other major works will be done gradually. We will procure certain materials to preserve the structure,” VCMC Commissioner P Ashok Kumar told TNIE. We are also assessing the funds that would be required for the work, the commissioner said.

A memorial pillar nearby, which is older than the clock tower, also cries for attention. Near Anna Kalaiarangam stands the pillar with a small tree sprouting from its centre, which has raised safety concerns among archaeological enthusiasts and the public alike. It was erected in 1887 in commemoration of the jubilee of Queen Victoria. “The fort city has many heritage structures like the clock tower and the memorial pillar. It is important that we preserve our history and carry it intact to our posterity,” M Baradeswaran, a Vellore resident, said.



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