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Waste of time? £16,000 landmark Sunderland clock breaks down after two months

Well, at least it right twice every day! The new clock at the Wheatsheaf junction which seems to have stopped working.
Well, at least it right twice every day! The new clock at the Wheatsheaf junction which seems to have stopped working.
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A £16,000 landmark clock has been labelled “a waste of time” - after it stopped working only two months after being installed.

The 16ft-tall landmark at the Wheatsheaf junction in Monkwearmouth was put in place to mark Armistice Day last November.

It replaced the popular concrete plinth Wheatsheaf Clock, which had been in place for 45 years and was deemed beyond repair before its removal as part of the junction’s remodelling.

The new clock commemorates a Zeppelin raid where bombs that were dropped killed 16 people on April 1, 1916, with the total death toll rising to 22 in the following days.

However, readers have contacted the Echo to say that the clock stopped working in the last few days, with its hands stuck at 6.35.

Bosses say they are investigating the problem and have contacted the manufacturers of the structure.

Conservative leader on the city council, Coun Lee Martin, said: “It isn’t that impressive a clock anyway.

“To be honest, it’s probably have been better if we’d saved the £16,000 and not had it.

“I saw a picture of it in the Echo but I’ve never noticed it when I’ve been out.

“The old clock was quite dominant, but this entire thing has been a waste of money.”

Chairman of Sunderland Supporters’ Association, George Forster, whose office is just yards from the clock, said: “I never really notice it anyway, not as much as the one before.

“Surely somebody will be able to fix it.”

The installation of the clock was made possible with a £16,000 grant from Sunderland City Council’s North Area Committee.

It includes an interpretation panel outlining details of the Zeppelin raid.

Coun Denny Wilson, chairman of Sunderland City Council’s North Area Committee, said: “The stopped clock was reported to the city council on Monday and it has a 24 hour re-start function in case of power failure.

“We have now contacted the manufacturers and we hope to see the clock working again as soon as possible.

“We understand some people are very wound up about it and we have been expecting a ticking off.”